in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 27, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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
since 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 27, 2019:
1. Is Trump a Rapist?
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:
Could Solve the Climate Crisis With One Radical Change
3. Jeremy Corbyn and the UK’s Moment in History
4. America’s Biggest
Economic Problem Isn’t China
Trump a Rapist?
is by Charles M. Blow on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
Yes, I more or less agree
with this, and I also agree with the title, that is, I believe that
Trump is a rapist, though indeed I have no firm proof.
Then again, the probable reason that there is no firm proof that
the president of the USA is a rapist is that many possible court cases
against him simply are not started because he is the president.
am simply disgusted by what’s happening in America.
political differences with this president and his accomplices in
Congress — and now on the Supreme Court — are only part of the reason.
Indeed, those differences may not be the lesser reason, and that, for
me, says a lot.
me, the reason is that the country, or large segments of it, seems to
be acquiescing to a particular form of evil, one that is pernicious and
even playful, one in which the means of chipping away at our values and
morals grow even stronger, graduating from tack hammer to standard
hammer to sledgehammer.
it seems to me, is drifting toward catastrophe. Donald Trump is leading
us there. And all the while, our politicians plot about political
outcomes and leverage. Republican politicians are afraid to upset him;
Democratic politicians are afraid to impeach him.
But, because nothing changes, because he is never truly held
accountable, too many Americans are settling into a functional
numbness, a just-let-me-survive-it form of sedation. But, that is where
the edge of death is marked. That is where the rot begins. That is
where a society loses itself.
Well... here is some more, about E. Jean Carroll, who is the latest
accuser that Trump raped her:
writes that Trump “pushed her against the wall, pushed his mouth
against her lips, then pulled down her tights, unzipped his pants and
forced his ‘fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway —
or completely, I’m not certain — inside me,’” as The New York Times
And now remember that the alleged perpetrator is now the president.
And, remember that Carroll is by no means alone; a chorus of other
women have also accused Trump of sexual misconduct.
But, Carroll’s account stands out for its brutality and severity.
And yet, her account landed like one more body on the pile in a mass
grave: reduced by the multitude of other accusations rather than
amplified by them.
Yes indeed, I think all of the above is
correct. Of course my thinking so doesn't make this correct: To
prove or disprove the above serious allegation and many more by other
women is to investigate them in court.
But this doesn't happen. Here is Trump's sick and
Trump, in his swelling depravity, responded to the allegations by
telling The Hill: “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s
not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, O.K.?”
Well, sir, which type for you is rape-worthy?
To you, America, I ask: What is the breaking point? Is there a breaking
point? Does nothing now matter that used to matter?
I think Blow's response is quite correct: Trump does not deny
he raped women (and indeed he also has insisted he can shoot
someone and not be prosecuted at all), he merely denied that she
was his type, implying that if she had been, he might have raped her.
prefer Carroll's reading and this is from the ending of this article:
Yes indeed and this is a
president acts as if he is above the law, or is the law. He lies and he
cheats and he bullies. He is hateful and rude and racist. He talks
about women to whom he is attracted as if they’re objects to be
possessed and about women who dare to challenge him as enemies who must
Could Solve the Climate Crisis With One Radical Change
is by Tim Radford on Truthdig and originally on Climate News Network.
It starts as follows:
Resolving the climate
demands radical political change, a British author argues: the end of
free market capitalism.
Well... I agree,
but then again (i) this is not "one radical change", as the
title has it, mostly because (ii) ending free market capitalism
very probably requires a real revolution, while also (iii) nearly
all attempted real revolutions fail in terms of the aims of the
In fact, it is especially
my knowledge of (iii) which keeps me from strongly supporting radical
socialism, simply because the socialism I imagine is unlikely
to be the result of an attempted revolution, and the chances are
that more tyranny will be the actual outcome, rather as in the former
Soviet Union and the present China.
Here is some more:
So we don’t just have to
think again, we have to rethink the whole basis of human behaviour.
This means switching
to vegetarian or vegan diets, abandoning plastic
packaging, and cutting
down on air travel (powered by biofuels, if we must, but the
biofuel business is lunacy – he uses the word “bonkers” – in energy
But these are small things.
The big and not necessarily entirely popular message of the book is
that we must change politically. Free market capitalism or
neoliberalism or any pursuit entirely and only for profit cannot
deliver answers to the coming climate crisis.
Yes, I think that is probably
true, but then again the most probable outcome of a revolution is
another dictatorship, which also will not do much or anying about the
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
If the world shared its
wealth (and wealth is a proxy for energy resources) more fairly, then
it might be a great deal easier to be sure of democratic assent and
international co-operation for radical shifts in the way we manage our
food, water, transport and our
precarious natural wealth in the form of biodiversity: all the wild
birds, mammals, fish amphibians, reptiles, plants, fungi and microbes
on which humankind ultimately depends.
The above is just a small
sample of a rich, thought-provoking and easy-to-enjoy text. Berners-Lee
doesn’t have all the answers, and admits as much, but he does know how
to frame a lot of questions in illuminating ways.
He has packed his book with
explanatory notes, supporting evidence and definitions, one of them
being the case
for democracy in the world of the Anthropocene.
“Fit for purpose
democracy”, he warns, “entails not just voting but accurate
information, and a widespread sense of responsibility for the common
Well... yes, though I have to
add that Mike Berners-Lee (the writer of the book that is being
reviewed) and Tim Berners-Lee have the same father, and I do not
trust Tim Berners-Lee (to whom the world owes the internet, which
is, in my opinion, the strongest reason for a future neofascism,
simply because anything about anyone now can be found out by the rich
and by any government).
Corbyn and the UK’s Moment in History
This article is by Craig Murray on
Consortium News. It starts with the following subtitle:
While the media are
concentrated on Tory shenanigans, Labour Party members must seize the
chance to turn Corbyn’s insurgency into a decisive force, says Craig
Yes, I think I agree,
and my reason is that Corbyn is one of the very few prominent
politicians whom I (more or less) trust, as is Bernie Sanders in the
USA, and the reason for mostly trusting both is my knowledge of 40
years of their political histories.
Here is more from this article:
The vast transfer of
wealth from everybody else to the bankers in the great banking
collapse, and the huge growth in wealth inequality and obscene
concentrations of wealth in a tiny number of private hands, are the
underlying causes of the collapse in old political party structures
across the Western democracies and the rise of insurgent politics in
all its various forms, mostly under the careful control of the elite
using all their media control to misdirect popular blame for mass
poverty against immigrants.
Yes, though Murray (who
also is English) restricts his interests to Great Britain. There is
this on Jeremy Corbyn:
There are however genuine
examples of insurgent politics seeking to craft a fairer society in the
U.K., of which the SNP (Scottish National Party) and Yes Movement in
Scotland, and Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in England and Wales,
are the most important examples.
Unusually for me, this article
is addressed primarily to Corbyn supporters down in England and Wales.
represents the only realistic chance the people of England and Wales
have been given in decades, to escape from the neoliberal economics
that have impoverished vast swathes of the population. But he leads a
parliamentary party which is almost entirely comprised of hardline
Well, I agree on
Corbyn because of my knowledge of Corbyn, and I agree on the
parliamentary Labour party in part because of my knowledge of the neofascist Blair
- and I am sorry but that is what this Catholic very rich man is, in my
opinion - and his destruction of the Labour Party that was, although
I know a lot less of nearly all or all British parlementarians than I
know of Corbyn.
Here is some more on the parliamentary Labour Party:
The majority of the
parliamentary Labour Party are the people who brought in academy
schools, high student tuition fees, introduced more privatization into
the health service than the Tories have, and who brought you the Iraq
and Afghan wars. They abstained on the Tory austerity benefit cuts and
on Prime Minister Theresa May’s “hostile environment” immigration
legislation. They support Trident nuclear missiles. Many hanker after
bombing Syria, and most are members of Labour Friends of Israel.
I do not know
this, but I do suppose Murray is correct about this. Here is
[I]t is essential
that every Labour Party acts NOW to try to get rid of those dreadful
Blairite MPs. If you do not act, the historic moment will be missed and
the chance to move England and Wales away from neoliberalism may be
Yes, I agree, simply because
I detest Blair and Blairites - but I do not know whether
Murray will succeed. Here is the ending of this article:
Whether or not you
are a Labour Party member (and remember I am not), please bring this
article to the attention of any and every Labour Party member you know.
Progress reports in the comments section would be extremely welcome, as
would anyone willing to take the time to draw up “hit lists” based on
the kind of criteria I outline above.
Yes, this may be correct and
this is a recommended article.
While the media are
concentrated on the Tory shenanigans, it is the Labour Party members
who have the chance to make choices which could have in the long term
much more important effects upon society; if people act as I recommend,
this could be a historic turning point. Otherwise it will just be one
of those moments that passed, and the Corbyn insurgency a small
footnote of might have been.
4. America’s Biggest
Economic Problem Isn’t China
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Well... yes and no. I agree
with Reich on the USA but not on China, and my main reason is
that China is a dictatorship, and has been growing a lot more into
a dictatorship under Xi Jinping, in fact mostly thanks to the internet
(which allows governments and rich corporations to find out anything
about anyone, both in China and outside of China).
Xi Jinping might possibly
agree this weekend when he meets Donald Trump on further steps to bring
down China’s trade imbalance with the US, giving Trump a face-saving
way of ending his trade war.
But Xi won’t agree to
change China’s economic system. Why should he?
The American economic
system is focused on maximizing shareholder returns. And it’s achieving
that goal. Last Friday, the S&P 500 notched a new all-time high.
But average Americans have
seen no significant gains in their incomes for four decades, adjusted
China’s economic system, by
contrast, is focused on maximizing China. And it’s achieving that
Anyway, here is more:
Yes, I agree with
the above - and observe once again that Reich appears to be a
capitalist nevertheless, although indeed not like the leaders
of the "500 giant
companies headquartered in the US".
Forty years ago China
was still backward and agrarian. Today it’s the world’s second-largest
economy, home to the world’s biggest auto industry and some of the
world’s most powerful technology companies. Over the last four decades,
hundreds of millions of Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty.
The two systems are
At the core of the American
system are 500 giant companies headquartered in the US but making,
buying and selling things all over the world. Half of their employees
are non-American, located outside the US. A third of their shareholders
These giant corporations
have no particular allegiance to America. Their only allegiance and
responsibility is to their shareholders.
They’ll do whatever is
necessary to get their share prices as high as possible – including
keeping wages down, fighting unions, reclassifying employees as
independent contractors, outsourcing anywhere around world where parts
are cheapest, shifting their profits around the world wherever taxes
are lowest, and paying their top CEOs ludicrous sums.
Here is some more:
Yes, I think all of the
above is true - but China is still a dictatorship. Well, here is Reich:
At the core of China’s
economy, by contrast, are state-owned companies that borrow from state
banks at artificially low rates. These state firms balance the ups and
downs of the economy, spending more when private companies are
reluctant to do so.
China’s core planners and
state-owned companies will do whatever is necessary both to improve the
wellbeing of the Chinese people and become the world’s largest and most
Trump thinks that’s unfair.
But it works. Since 1978, the Chinese economy has grown by an
average of more than 9% per year.
I think this is also true,
and I would agree with Reich if he were to say that the USA is not a
democracy anymore, indeed because "most Americans have little or no influence on public policy", but the USA still is not - yet,
at least - the dictatorship that China is.
But wait. America is a
democracy and China is a dictatorship, right?
True, but most Americans
have little or no influence on public policy – which is why the Trump
tax cut did so little for them.
Here is more:
I agree with the first
quoted paragraph, but not with the latest, and I find it a bit
difficult to see why Reich thinks so if he is pro capitalism (as his
book "Saving Capitalism" strongly suggests). In any case, I do "blame American corporations", because they try to make the maximum
profits for themselves, and because they invested a great
amount of money in changing American politics and changing American
laws to make the maximal profits.
Instead, American lawmakers
respond to the demands of wealthy individuals (typically corporate
executives and Wall Street moguls) and of big corporations, those with
the most lobbying prowess and deepest pockets to bankroll campaigns.
Don’t blame American
corporations. They’re in business to make profits and maximize their
share prices, not to serve America.
And indeed, classical social democracy (which seems to have
been mostly destroyed) was in favor of capitalism as long as it did
distribute its profits so that the middle classes and the poor also got
some welfare, which indeed also supported local capitalism (by
Here is the ending of this article:
I agree mostly, though I also
think it would be very well if China became less dictatorial, indeed
also if I do not think it will be. And this is a recommended
Instead of trying to get
China to change, we should lessen the dominance of big American
corporations over American policy.
China isn’t the reason half
of America hasn’t had a raise in four decades. The simple fact is
Americans cannot thrive within a system run largely by big American
corporations, organized to boost their share prices but not boost
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 (!!).