in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 24, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
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 24, 2019:
1. Istanbul Mayoral Loss a Blow to
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:
comedians like Jon Stewart are redefining patriotism
3. Sanders as ´Existential Threat´ to the Democrats
4. On Sanders as an
Mayoral Loss a Blow to Turkey's Erdogan
This article is by Zeynep Bilginsoy and Derek
Gatopoulos on Truthdig and originally on The Associated Press. It
starts as follows:
The opposition candidate
for mayor of Istanbul celebrated a landmark win Sunday in a closely
watched repeat election that ended weeks of political tension and broke
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party’s 25-year hold on Turkey’s
“Thank you, Istanbul,”
former businessman and district mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, 49, said in a
televised speech after unofficial results showed he won a clear
majority of the vote.
I say, for I did not
know this and also did not expect this, while I like
this outcome because I dislike Erdogan,
which is also the main reason I am reviewing this article.
Here is a bit more on Turkey, which is important simply because it has
over 82 million inhabitants, apart from other reasons:
Imamoglu narrowly won
Istanbul’s earlier mayor’s contest on March 31, but Erdogan’s Justice
and Development Party, AKP, challenged the election for alleged voting
irregularities. He spent 18 days in office before Turkey’s electoral
board annulled the results after weeks of partial recounts.
The voided vote raised
concerns domestically and abroad about the state of Turkish democracy
and whether Erdogan’s party would accept any electoral loss. AKP has
governed Turkey since 2002.
“You have protected the
reputation of democracy in Turkey with the whole world watching,”
Imamoglu, his voice hoarse after weeks of campaigning, told supporters.
Yes, though I also think
Imamoglu was trying to flatter Erdogan. Here is some more on the recent
elections in Turkey:
Erdogan campaigned for
Yildirim in Istanbul, where the president started his political career
as mayor in 1994. The ruling party still controls 25 of Istanbul’s 39
districts and a majority in the municipal assembly.
Imamoglu will have to work
with those officeholders to govern Istanbul and promised Sunday to work
with his political opponents.
AKP also lost control of
the capital city of Ankara in Turkey’s March local elections, which
were held as the country faced an economic downturn, battled high
inflation and two credit rating downgrades in the past year.
I take it these are facts. Here is the
last bit I quote from this article on Istanbul and on Turkish voters:
Istanbul, a city of more
than 15 million, draws millions of tourists each year and is Turkey’s
commercial and cultural hub. Straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul
accounted for 31% of Turkey’s GDP in 2017.
Ankara office director of the German Marshall Fund, argued that the
loss of Istanbul is likely to fuel speculation of divisions within the
ruling party and among its supporters.
“It’s now clear that a
sizable portion of the AKP voters is seriously dissatisfied by policies
of the AKP,” he said.
Possibly so, and this
is a recommended article.
comedians like Jon Stewart are redefining patriotism
This article is by
Sophia A. McClennen on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It starts as
Yes indeed, although I
have two further inferences from the above mentioned facts:
On Tuesday, June 11,
legendary satirical comedian
Jon Stewart came out from retirement to testify before
the House judiciary committee regarding the September 11th Victim
Compensation Fund. The fund was established to support 9/11 First
Responders and is reportedly facing cuts of between
who has long been a champion of support for the First Responders, made
an impassioned plea to Congress to do their jobs and pass legislation
to permanently and fully fund support for the victims.
“Behind me, a filled room
of 9/11 first responders. And in front of me, a nearly empty Congress,”
Stewart riled. “Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to
speak to no one. Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country and
it’s a stain on this institution.”
Using his characteristic
sharp wit, Stewart underscored the difference between the work ethic of
the 9/11 First Responders and those in Congress, “They responded in
five seconds. They did their jobs [with] courage, grace, tenacity,
humility. Eighteen years later, do yours.”
Firstly, if one thing ought to be quite clear given the above facts, it
is that very few members of Congress have any real interest in
ordinary Americans who have no money to pay them for results they like
- for after eighteen years of non-payments or little payments
to heroic Americans who have no money, that is the only clear
And therefore, secondly, only a few members of Congress are interested
in honesty and in helping those with no money, even if they are quite
heroic: The vast majority of Congress these days vote for or
against things only because they have been paid by the rich, that is,
by their lobbyists.
At least, that is what I think. Here is some more on John
Stewart and other comedians:
The real story is that ever
since 9/11 comedians have increasingly worked to defend the values of
our nation, oftentimes more so than politicians themselves.
[S]omething odd happened to satire in the United States after 9/11.
Suddenly, it was the court jesters who were taking on the role of
defenders of our values and our core institutions. Sure, the comedians
still made fun of the emperor with no clothes, or the orange-faced
president, but they did more than that. They became role models for
engaged citizenship, they defended American values, and they redefined
patriotism. Satirical comedians, who typically focus on
questioning values and institutions, rose up to protect them.
Yes, I think that is more or
less correct. Here is some more on Stewart:
Over the course of the years
that Stewart hosted his show for Comedy Central he did far more than
serve as a voice of ironic commentary on national crises and political
follies; he increasingly became an advocate for American values. While
he regularly recognized the various ways the country had failed to live
up to its ideals, he remained convinced that the goal was to keep
striving to attain them.
Yes again. Here is some
more on other comedians:
John Oliver regularly uses
his show on HBO to educate his audience on major issues of significant
public interest. And who could forget Jimmy
Kimmel’s turn from goofy frat boy humor to emotional champion for
universal healthcare — a move that underscores the way that even
the most unlikely comedians are advocating for policies that benefit
In fact, the examples of
ways that comedians are serious about defending national institutions
and committed to advancing national ideals abound. This uncanny
transition where comedians don’t just mock institutions, they actually
defend them, has happened for a range of reasons, but one thing remains
clear: the public trusts comedians often more
than politicians or the press and they also learn more from them.
I agree more or less
and this is a recommended article.
as ´Existential Threat´ to the Democrats
This article is by
Alex Henderson on AlterNet. I abbreviated the title. It starts as
Well... yes and no and
mostly no, because I do not believe that ¨some centrist Democrats fear that Sanders is
unelectable¨: I believe
they fear his election, because this will probably mean that they are finished.
While former Vice President
Joe Biden remains the frontrunner in many polls on the 2020 Democratic
presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont can often be found
in second place — and the Vermont senator and self-described
“democratic socialist” raised an impressive $18
million during the first quarter of his campaign. If Sanders were
to win the Democratic nomination and defeat President Donald Trump in
the general election, he would be the most liberal/progressive
president the U.S. has had since Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s. But
some centrist Democrats fear that Sanders is unelectable, as a new
report in the Guardian details with a review of the “anyone-but-Bernie”
The Guardian’s Lauren
Gambino reports that on June 18, the centrist think tank Third Way held
an event in South Carolina — where about 250 people were in attendance
and Third Way members expressed fears that Sanders would win the
primary but lose to Trump in the general election.
And I am not saying that Sanders will be elected (I hope so,
but have no idea). What I am saying is that almost all
¨centrist Democrats¨ seem to be paid by lobbyists, whereas Sanders and
a few other (nominal) Democrats, like Elizabeth Warren, are not.
Here is some more:
I think Cowan was lying. He should
have said something like: I am against Bernie Sanders because he
does not get paid by rich lobbyists to vote as they want, which has
been the way of the Democrats since 1979.
Cowan, in an interview with
the Guardian, expressed his worries about Sanders’ influence on the
Democratic Party, asserting, “He has made it his mission to either get
the nomination or to remake the party in his image as a democratic
socialist. That is an existential threat to the future of the
Democratic Party for the next generation.”
Sanders was quick to
respond to the June 18 event. The following day on Twitter, he
denounced the anyone-but-Bernie movement as the work of “the corporate
wing of the Democratic Party.”
And I like and agree with Sanders comment. Here is some
more on Warren:
Perhaps. And in fact I agree
with Warren that it may have been a bit unwise of Sanders to
stress that he conceives of himself as a ¨democratic socialist¨. Then
again, he has conceived of himself as such the last 40+ years
and he might well reply to me that if he didn´t say so, his political
opponents, which include the centrist Democrats, very probably would
have said so anyway.
movement raises an interesting question: what about Sen. Elizabeth
Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate who shares many of Sanders’
liberal/progressive views and has been surging in recent polls? Why
would Third Way be so hostile to Sanders but not to Warren? Arguably,
it comes down to messaging.
Warren, unlike Sanders, has
rejected the term “democratic socialist.” The Massachusetts senator has
declared that she favors “markets” and is a “capitalist
to my bones”; Warren has positioned herself as a blistering critic
of crony capitalism but not of capitalism itself. If
anything, Warren is — not unlike President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in
the 1930s — promoting herself as a savior of capitalism, not an
Then again, I am somewhat confused about Sanders, simply
because, while I like him and would welcome a team of Sanders +
Warren, I do not think he is
a real socialist as I would use that term, and I also think that the
understanding of the term ¨socialism¨ seems different in the USA from
what it is in Europe (where the understanding of this term also
does not seem to be well, though it is a bitter better and
more informed than in the USA).
Here is the last bit from this article:
Truth be told,
Sanders is really a capitalist — and the “socialism” that he favors
draws its inspiration from FDR’s New Deal, President Lyndon B.
Johnson’s Great Society and the modern-day governments of Sweden,
Denmark and Norway rather than Che Guevara or Mao Tse Tung. But in a
soundbite culture like the United States, some people can’t get past
the fact that Sanders is using the word “socialist” at all.
Yes, I agree and this is a recommended article, that
gets continued or answered in the next article I review.
Sanders as an 'Existential Threat'
This article is by
John Atcheson on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It has a
Yes indeed: This is as I argued
above. This article starts as follows:
A centrist candidate—which,
let’s be honest, means one who is beholden to the uber rich and
corporations—cannot and will not address these truly existential issues.
Yes, this seems mostly
correct. Here is some more:
Over the past few days, the
mainstream Democrats’ war on Bernie Sanders has come out of the
closet. Recent articles in Politico
and the Guardian,
detail how centrist organizations like Third Way have been pushing the
narrative that Sanders is unelectable. The reason, according to
Third Way leaders and other neoliberals, is the dreaded label of
There’s two things wrong
with this premise.
First, Sanders has been a
nationally known figure since 2015, and the label hasn’t hurt him much.
He still polls better against Trump than any Democrat except Biden—and
they're essentially tied at the moment in a race with Trump.
Yes indeed. Here is more
on this second point:
But the second thing that
reveals how wrong the centrist neoliberals are, is that, until
2018—when Democrats were more progressive and the Party ran more
progressive candidates—they’d been losing ground for nearly five
decades. In the 1960’s about half of all voters registered as
Democrats—today that number is only about 29 percent. As recently
as 1978, Democrats controlled both legislative branches in thirty-one
states, while Republicans had majorities in only eleven.
By 2016 Republicans
controlled both legislatures and the governorship in twenty-five
states, while Democrats control all three institutions in just six
I think that is correct.
Here is some more:
This losing trend directly
parallels the Democratic Party’s drift to the center and then to the
right. As groups like the Democratic Leadership Council embraced
corporatism, and ran from New Deal and Great Society values, the Party
In short, Democrats are on
the verge of an existential crisis, but it’s centrism that is causing
Yes, I think this is also
correct. Here is the ending of this article:
We are facing a real
crisis—perhaps an existential one—in the form of the climate change,
and it’s closer and more serious than we’ve been led to believe.
We have a press which
thinks that covering both “sides” of a debate is more important than
divining the truth behind the debate. Balance has replaced
accuracy, truth, data, and facts as the media’s polestar. As a
result, morons get equal time with sages.
We are seeing economic and
political power concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, as
corporations merge at a record pace, and wealth and income gets
increasingly concentrated at the very top of our society.
two things. First, government has been taken over by oligarchs and
second, it no longer represents them. Some of them are mad as
hell, and they vote for the likes of Trump because he at least shares
their inchoate rage at the system, even if he reinforces it with his
policies. Others are justifiably cynical and choose to stay home on
Yes, I agree and this is
a strongly recommended article.
That’s how Trump won in 2016.
Targeting a few more votes from the mythical center won’t change that.
Getting the no shows to show will. And only a progressive can do that.
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 (!!).