in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 30, 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
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 30, 2019:
1. How James Murdoch Uses Philanthropy
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:
Camps Should Be Liberated. We Can’t Wait Until
3. Oregon Republicans End 9-Day Walkout
4. Noam Chomsky:
Democrats may have handed Trump the 2020
James Murdoch Uses Philanthropy
is by Peter Maass on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title. It starts
I did not know any
of the above. But I can give Maass's answer to the last
question: James Murdoch is trying to buy sympathy for himself by
investing in philantrophy. Well... Maass may be right, but I do not
know. Here is some more:
The mission of Unite
America is lofty. As its name implies, the little-known group wants to heal a political system
that has become “more divided and dysfunctional with each election
Its bipartisan mission is
an implied critique of Fox News, which has been identified, in study
as a principal cause of the polarization that Unite America seeks
to cure. Yet a few months ago, Unite America received a “strategic investment” from a
surprising source: a foundation run by James and Kathryn Murdoch. Their
last name might ring a bell; James is a son of Rupert Murdoch, the
founder of Fox News, and for nearly two decades he was a top executive
in his father’s businesses.
The donation is quite a
paradox. Fox has consistently promoted conspiracy
theories and white nationalism while demonizing leaders of the
Democratic Party. Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a
frequent target of its slanted coverage, has bluntly described the
network as a “hate-for-profit
racket.” Yet while many Americans have been harmed by the toxins of
Fox News, it has helped enrich the Murdoch family. James and and
his wife Kathryn, like other members of the family, are
billionaires. Until last year, James was even hoping to take charge
of the family’s empire but his brother Lachlan
got the nod from their father, who is now 88 years old.
A question arises: What is
going on here?
I say, for I also did not
know this. And it seems as if James Murdoch and his wife gave at
least 5 million dollars to diverse instutions - which I agree is not
really much for a billionaire but then it is rather a lot for anybody
Alongside his wife, James
Murdoch is trying to cast himself as a member in righteous standing of
the effort to repair the damage his family helped cause. In addition to
the infusion into Unite America, James and Kathryn Murdoch have donated
$1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, which combats the sort of
hate crimes that Fox News is widely regarded as encouraging. Through
their foundation, which is called Quadrivium (the Latin word for
“crossroads”), they have also donated at least $4.25 million since 2013
to the Environmental Defense Fund — a group fighting against the
skepticism of climate change that Fox News has ceaselessly promoted.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, which posts and links
to articles that criticize Fox’s skewed reporting on science
and the environment, has received more than $1.75 million from their
Also, it seems Maass is more convinced than I am that Murdoch
does spend some of his money in the way he does because he wants to buy
sympathy. He also has an argument:
Well... I'd say the
Murdochs, or at least Rupert Murdoch, and the Sacklers are rather
different. I agree - I think - with Maass that Rupert Murdoch
tries to sell a very rightwing program by lies and propaganda,
which indeed I do not like at all, but it also seems fairly certain
that the Sacklers (or some of the leading ones) differed extremely
little from major hard drugs sellers, who sold their opiates under the
false pretense (that they knew to be pretense) that
these were not addictive, while they were, which also did result in
the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans (over a
period of some 20 years).
A new debate has been set
off by the philanthropy of the Sackler family, which owns the company
that makes OxyContin, the brand-name drug at the center of the opioid
epidemic. In the past year, the family has been shunned by nonprofit
organizations that used to line up to accept their donations. This is
the result, in part, of a lawsuit filed
by the New York attorney general that described the Sackler family as
trying to donate their way out of trouble.
“The Sacklers used their
ill-gotten wealth to cover up their misconduct with a philanthropic
campaign intending to whitewash their decades-long success in profiting
at New Yorkers’ expense,” the suit said.
The Sacklers might be
somewhat unique in the annals of tainted fortunes because their
company, Purdue Pharma, is legally
connected to an epidemic
that has killed hundreds of
thousands of Americans.
I think that is different from lying to the public for a very
rightwing cause. Anyway - here is the last bit that I quote from this
Chiara Cordelli, a
professor of political science at the University of Chicago who
has written about the ethics of philanthropy, believes that giving
away tainted money should not necessarily be a silent act. “If my money
comes from Fox News, and I want to use the money to promote causes that
Fox News undermines, then I should at least publicly explain my
rationale for doing that, and I should disavow Fox News’s views on
those matters,” Cordelli said in an interview. “Otherwise it seems the
donation is nothing else but a way to clean up a reputation.”
No, not quite.
Except for the last statement, what Cordelli says is her personal
opinion. I happen to agree with her, but that is my
personal opinion, but I also think that the personal opinions of others
(like James Murdoch) may well be different, for various reasons.
And I do not quite agree with her last statement, and
especially not with the "nothing else" in it.
For all I know, James Murdoch's opinions may be honest, though I do
not know. And besides, I do not worry much about his
motives as long as I do not personally know him,
and am thankful (a bit, at least) for the millions he spent on what
are, in my opinion, decent ends. And this is a recommended
Camps Should Be Liberated. We Can’t Wait Until 2020.
is by Shaun King on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title. It starts
Well... I agree
that the facts reported in the last two quoted paragraphs are probably
facts, and I strongly dislike them.
“Yes, we do have
concentration camps,” began
the stinging critique of the Trump administration’s immigration
detention facilities. It was written earlier this week by the editorial
board of the Salt Lake Tribune, in the reliably conservative state of
Andrea Pitzer, author of
the definitive book on the global history of concentration camps, agrees.
So do people who were once
forced to live in another era’s concentration camps.
But amid the debate
about what to call immigration detention facilities, few people
have disputed the truly terrible conditions that exist within
them. Migrants have long
reported awful experiences in immigration custody, but in
recent months, an increase in the number of people, especially families
and children, crossing the border and being detained has led to
Dr. Dolly Lucio Sevier was
granted access to a Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, and wrote
in her report about it that “the conditions within which they
are held could be compared to torture facilities.” They “felt worse
than jail.” The kids she examined were forced to endure “extreme cold
temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical
care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.”
Then again, somebody who says "Yes, we do have concentration camps" is saying something rather ambiguous, which I
know because I know quite a lot about the German
concentration camps that the Nazis did run, because both my father and
his father were locked up in them as "political terrorists" in 1941,
which my grandfather did not survive.
In fact, there have been concentration camps in some sense at
least since the beginnings of the 20th Century, when the English
locked up the Boers (whom they were fighting) in them.
And while I do not think any of the camps described as
"concentration camps" (which is in fact a term that has been mostly
removed from Wikipedia) was pleasant or healthy, I think most
people who hear the term "concentration camp" will think of the
Nazist concentration camps, which I think were probably the worst,
although those in the Soviet Union do not seem to have been much better.
Also, while I completely disagree with the policy of locking up
people because they are political refugees, and while I detest
the facts mentioned by Sevier, I do not think that the -
present - American concentration camps (if one wants to call them that,
which the present Wikipedia certainly does not) were as
serious or as dangerous as the camps that the Nazis used.
Here is some more on my last point:
Over the past year, seven
children have died in U.S. immigration custody or shortly after
being released. These deaths occurred after 10 years during
which not a single child died. Elora Mukherjee, director of the
Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, told
The Atlantic that the stench in some detention facilities is so
horrible that it was hard for her to even have a focused conversation
with the children. Babies didn’t have diapers. Young kids
were forced to care for infants who they didn’t even know. Clothes
were covered in snot and excrement. Baby bottles were used without
being properly cleaned and sterilized.
I do not know whether
the above facts are correct, but will suppose they are. Then again,
in the Nazis concentration camps within around 3 years 6 million Jews
I think they were
considerably worse. Here is some more:
This is why we say that cruelty
is the point. It’s not an accident. These systems are cruel by
design. The idea is to make it miserable to deter people from coming to
the U.S. These detention centers are reckless and dangerous.
pointed out, we need to remember exactly how and why the teenage
diarist Anne Frank actually died. She was not gassed to death in a Nazi
death camp. Instead, she
died of neglect, malnutrition, and disease.
And right now, today, we have prison camps across the United States
where the same thing is happening.
Well... I again am quite
willing to agree that the American camps "are cruel by design",
but I disagree that "the same thing is happening" in the USA as in
Nazi Germany, indeed not because the Americans are
incapable of that, but because I know the horrible facts about the Nazi
concentrarion camps quite well.
As I said: They were
worse than the present American camps, though I agree that the American
camps are cruel, and I also agree that no refugee and no child should
be locked up in such camps.
This is from the ending:
No. This may be true of
the American camps, but it is less true of the Nazist concentration
camps, which existed in explicitly fascist and totalitarian
countries, where terror was quite normal against anyone who deviated
from the Nazist norms. But this is a recommended article.
I always wondered how
concentration camps lasted for so many years during the Holocaust, but
now that we have our own, I see how. It’s a mix of fear, indifference,
and lack of political will.
Republicans End 9-Day Walkout
is by Andrew Selsky and Sarah Zimmerman on Truthdig and originally on
The Associated Press. I abbreviated the title. It starts as follows:
I say, for I did not
know anything of this. And I agree with "the Democratic governor", because "people's representatives" should be present
while voting, and the above sketched situation, where 9 Republicans
refused to do so because then they might have lost, is a sketch of
something that is criminal, in my opinion and that of "the Democratic governor".
returned to the Oregon Senate on Saturday, ending an acrimonious
nine-day walkout over a carbon-emissions bill that would have been
the second-such legislation in the nation.
The boycott had escalated
when the Democratic governor ordered the state police to find and
return the rogue Republicans to the Senate so the chamber could
convene, and a counter-threat by one GOP senator to violently resist
any such attempt. Senate Republicans fled the state to avoid being
forcibly returned by the Oregon State Police, whose jurisdiction ends
at the state line.
Democrats have an 18 to 12
majority in the Senate but need at least 20 members — and therefore at
least two Republicans — to vote on legislation.
Nine minority Republicans
returned to the Senate on Saturday after Senate President Peter
Courtney said the majority Democrats lacked the necessary 16 votes to
pass the legislation aimed at countering climate change.
Here is some more:
As I just said, in my
opinion Boquist is a criminal. Here is the last bit that I quote
from this article:
The House had previously
passed the bill, one of the centerpieces of Oregon’s 2019 legislative
session, which is scheduled to end late Sunday.
One of the Republicans
absent Saturday was Sen. Brian Boquist, who had told state police when
to come heavily armed and to send bachelor officers if they were going
to forcibly return him to the Senate during the walkout. Senate
Republican leader Herman Baertschiger Jr., on Friday refused to condemn
Boquist’s words, only saying the comments were unhelpful.
Well... I am willing to
agree with Baertschiger that the Republicans achieved what they
wanted to achieve, but he is probably not willing to agree
that they succeeded in that by behaving criminally. And this is
a recommended article.
The Republicans, though,
painted their boycott as a triumph.
“Our mission in walking out
was to kill cap and trade,” Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger
told reporters Friday. “And that’s what we did.”
Democrats had said the
climate legislation was critical to make Oregon a leader in the fight
against climate change and will ultimately create jobs and transform
The bill, if passed, would
have been the second in the nation, after California, to cap and trade
pollution credits among companies.
Chomsky: Democrats may have handed Trump the 2020 election
is by Amy Goodman on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
I agree mostly
with Chomsky. Here is more by him:
AMY GOODMAN: Can you share your analysis
of President Trump? You have lived through so many presidents. Explain
President Trump to us and assess the massive response to him.
NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, Trump is—you know, I
think there are a number of illusions about Trump. If you take a look
at the Trump phenomenon, it’s not very surprising. Think back for the
last 10 or 15 years over Republican Party primaries, and remember what
happened during the primaries. Each primary, when some candidate rose
from the base, they were so outlandish that the Republican
establishment tried to crush them and succeeded in doing it—Michele
Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum. Anyone who was coming out of the
base was totally unacceptable to the establishment. The change in 2016
is they couldn’t crush him.
But the interesting
question is: Why was this happening? Why, in election after election,
was the voting base producing a candidate utterly intolerable to the
establishment? And the answer to that is—if you think about that, the
answer is not very hard to discover. During the—since the 1970s, during
this neoliberal period, both of the political parties have shifted to
the right. The Democrats, by the 1970s, had pretty much abandoned the
Meanwhile, the Republicans shifted so far to the right that they went
completely off the spectrum. Two of the leading political analysts of
the American Enterprise Institute, Thomas Mann, Norman Ornstein, about
five or 10 years ago, described the Republican Party as what they
called a “radical insurgency” that has abandoned parliamentary politics.
Yes, I agree. Here
is more by him:
Well, why did that happen? It
happened because the Republicans face a difficult problem. They have a
primary constituency, a real constituency: extreme wealth and corporate
power. That’s who they have to serve. That’s their constituency. You
can’t get votes that way, so you have to do something else to get
I agree again.
So, if you look at the
legislation under Trump, it’s just lavish gifts to the wealth and the
corporate sector—the tax bill, the deregulation, you know, every case
in point. That’s kind of the job of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan,
those guys. They serve the real constituency. Meanwhile, Trump has to
maintain the voting constituency, with one outrageous position after
another that appeals to some sector of the voting base. And he’s doing
it very skillfully. As just as a political manipulation, it’s skillful.
Work for the rich and the powerful, shaft everybody else, but get their
votes—that’s not an easy trick. And he’s carrying it off.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article - and "this issue"
Yes, I quite agree and
this is a strongly recommended article.
The Democrats invested
everything in this issue. Well, turned out there was nothing much
there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him
the next election. That’s just a—that’s a matter of being so unwilling
to deal with fundamental issues, that they’re looking for something on
the side that will somehow give political success. The real issues are
different things. They’re things like climate change, like global
warming, like the Nuclear Posture Review, deregulation. These are real
issues. But the Democrats aren’t going after those. They’re looking for
something else—the Democratic establishment. I’m not talking about the
young cohort that’s coming in, which is quite different.
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 (!!).