in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 23, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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. (This
still continues: I have ME/CFS
simce 40+ years.)
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 23, 2019:
1. America Must Make Amends for the Horror
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:
3. VIPS Memo to the President
4. The ¨Center¨ Of
American Politics Is On The Left
Must Make Amends for the Horror of Slavery
This article is by Amy Goodman and Denis
Moynihan on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. Here is some
Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom. The
name comes from a combination of the two words in the date, June
nineteenth. On that day in 1865, 250,000 slaves in Texas were freed by
a Union Army general who had arrived with troops in Galveston the day
before. The Civil War had ended more than a month earlier, but word of
the war’s end took time to reach parts of Texas. By the end of 1865,
the 13th Amendment had been ratified, formally outlawing slavery across
the United States.
It was an incredible victory, but the
trajectory of systemic racism in the United States did not end there,
as we know all too well. Indeed, the real-world impacts of slavery on
today’s African American population were front and center in
Washington, D.C., this week, as historic hearings and public gatherings
convened to discuss, debate and organize around reparations and
poverty, and to offer a vision for a more just and equitable nation.
Well... I think I agree
with McConnell (!!) on this. I probably disagree with McConnell
on virtually everything else, but I know my history, and while I do not
think any of my family has been a slave for hundreds of years, I also
think almost everyone in them has been very poor since hundreds
of years. Also, I don´t think that they had no gifts, while I do think their
poverty - generation after generation after generation - was
produced by the economic and social systems they had to live under.
On Tuesday, a young African American
reporter, Eva McKend, asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
whether the government should issue a public apology for slavery. “I
don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, for
whom none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea,” the
Kentucky Republican replied.
Ta-Nehisi Coates opened his testimony by
saying: “McConnell offered a familiar reply. … But we are American
citizens, and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond
our individual and personal reach.”
Again, while it would be nice to get personal restitutions for
that, the same would be true of something like 90% of the people I
live with, and that seems quite impossible to me.
Then again, since I do disagree with McConnell on virtually everything,
I agree that the present economic and social position of
most black Americans is due to discrimination, which ought to be
stopped as soon as possible.
Here is some more:
And I completely agree
with the above, and this is a recommended article.
Also on Wednesday, Juneteenth, another rare
hearing took place. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for
Moral Revival presented a Poor People’s Moral Budget to the House
Budget Committee. The budget rejects austerity and calls for massive
military spending cuts, fair taxes on the wealthy, corporations and
Wall Street, and details billions more in savings from ending mass
incarceration, tackling climate change and pursuing other progressive
The budget hearing was part of a three-day
“Moral Action Congress” convened by the Poor People’s Campaign,
co-chaired by the Rev. William Barber II and the Rev. Liz Theoharis.
It’s a renewal of the Poor People’s Campaign launched by Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. in the last year of his life.
This article is by
Jon Queally on AlterNet and originally on Common Dreams. I abbreviated
the title. It starts as follows:
In the wake of an
aborted bombing raid against Iran called off by President Donald Trump
just minutes before it was set to launch overnight, anti-war
progressives and progressive Democrats on Friday are demanding an end
to the era in which the nation’s commander-in-chief is allowed to
casually or whimsically claim the authority to start a war or launch an
unnecessary attack on a foreign country—a legacy created by nearly two
decades of unchecked
power, the rise
of the imperial presidency, repeated
misadventures, and endless war.
Yes, I completely
agree with this, and indeed insist also on the fact that the
American Constitution requires the
consent of Congress (and indeed the formal initiative) to start any war,
which I also think is quite correct.
Here is some more on
“A war with Iran would be a
disaster and lead to endless conflict in the region,” said Sen.
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, on
Friday morning. “Congress must assert its constitutional authority and
stop Trump from going to war.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
(D-Mass.), also running for president, tweeted:
“Donald Trump promised to bring our troops home. Instead he has pulled
out of a deal that was working and instigated another unnecessary
conflict. There is no justification for further escalating this
crisis—we need to step back from the brink of war.”
Yes, I completely agree
with Sanders and Warren. Here is some more:
tweet issued after news broke of Trump’s aborted attack,
progressive journalist John Nichols—who has written critically and
extensively on the rise of unchecked executive power during the tenures
of George H. Bush and Barack
Obama, and Trump—emphasized how the current president, like his
predecessors, has no constitutional authority to wage war or launch
offensive attacks without the explicit consent of Congress:
“Where is the Congress?”
“Decisions about war and peace should not be left to the whims of a
president who is ill-prepared, ill-informed, and ill-advised.”
Yes, I agree with
Nichols and add that if the president ent were well-prepared,
well-informed and well-advises (none of which he is) then still it is a
constitutional requirement that Congress agrees in majority to a war in
order to start it.
There is rather a lot more in
this article, which is recommended.
Memo to the President
This article is in
fact the reproduction of a memo by the VIPS
to the American president. I abbreviated its title. It starts as
UPDATED: VIPS says
its direct experience with Mike Pompeo leaves them with strong doubt
regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to the President
and the nation.
Yes, I think the above
is correct, although I doubt that Trump has any reason not
to want a war with Iran, other than that such a war may shrink his
chances to be re-elected as president of the USA.
DATE: June 21, 2019
MEMORANDUM FOR: The
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Is Pompeo’s
Iran Agenda the Same As Yours?
After the close call
yesterday when you called off the planned military strike on Iran, we
remain concerned that you are about to be mousetrapped into war with
Iran. You have said you do not want such a war (no sane person would),
and our comments below are based on that premise. There are troubling
signs that Secretary Pompeo is not likely to jettison his more warlike
approach, More importantly, we know from personal experience with
Pompeo’s dismissive attitude to instructions from you that his agenda
can deviate from yours on issues of major consequence.
betrays a strong desire to resort to military action — perhaps
even without your approval — to Iranian provocations (real or
imagined), with no discernible strategic goal other than to advance the
interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He is a neophyte
compared to his anti-Iran partner John Bolton, whose dilettante
approach to interpreting intelligence, strong advocacy of the
misbegotten war on Iraq (and continued pride in his role in promoting
it), and fierce pursuit of his own aggressive agenda are a matter of a
Here is some more:
Binney, a widely
respected, plain-spoken scientist with more than three decades of
experience at NSA, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were
lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it.
As we explained in our most recent Memorandum to you, Pompeo reacted
with disbelief and — now get this — tried to put the burden on Binney
to pursue the matter with the FBI and NSA.
Yes, I agree, and there
is considerably more in this article, that ends as follows:
As for Pompeo himself,
there is no sign he followed up by pursuing Binney’s stark observation
with anyone, including his own CIA cyber sleuths.
We believe your
final decision yesterday was the right one — given the so-called “fog
of war” and against the background of a long list of intelligence
mistakes, not to mention “cooking” shenanigans. We seldom quote media
commentators, but we think Tucker Carlson had it right yesterday
evening: “The very people — in some cases, literally the same people
who lured us into the Iraq quagmire 16 years ago — are demanding a new
war — this one with Iran. Carlson described you as “skeptical.” We
believe ample skepticism is warranted.
I agree with the
VIPS and this is a recommended article.
We are at your
disposal, should you wish to discuss any of this with us.
¨Center¨ Of American Politics Is On The Left
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
In fact, there is considerably
more in Reich´s article, but the problem is - as has been many
times pointed out by various people and in Nederlog - that the
voices and desires of ordinary American people rarely reach Congress
and the Senate, in considerable part because both of these are bought
by lobbyists for the rich.
Here is the ending of this article:
Yes indeed - but as I
said, the rich also buy the nominal representatives of ¨the people¨,
which means that while Reich is correct in saying that ¨[t]he “center” is what the vast majority of
Americans want¨, that is not at all what the
representatives of the majority want, which also is one of the
basic problems of the USA. But this is a recommended article.
So why do the powerful call
these policy ideas “fringe,” or “radical,” or “socialist?”
Money. Many of these
initiatives would cost them – requiring either higher taxes on the rich
(many could be achieved by repealing the giant Trump tax cut for the
wealthy and corporations), or regulations that might cut into their
So you can bet that as
these proposals become even more popular, the powerful are going to
intensify their attacks.
But just remember: the
“center” is not halfway between what most Americans want and what big
corporations, Wall Street, and the super-wealthy want.
The “center” is what the
vast majority of Americans want.
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 (!!).