A. Selections from July 4, 2017
B. Some backgrounds to the Beats and the Diggers
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, July 4, 2017.
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and my health.
As I explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection from that item (indented)
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
A. Selections from July 4, 2017
items 1 - 5 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:
1. Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’s Hold on Cyberweapons
Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States — Britain and Ukraine.
N.S.A. has kept quiet, not acknowledging its role in developing the
weapons. White House officials have deflected many questions, and
responded to others by arguing that the focus should be on the attackers
themselves, not the manufacturer of their weapons.
the silence is wearing thin for victims of the assaults, as a series of
escalating attacks using N.S.A. cyberweapons have hit hospitals, a
nuclear site and American businesses. Now there is growing concern that
United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital
weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they
fall into the wrong hands.
In brief: Everyone of any importance, including the NSA, the FBI and the CIA gets tracked by many spies.
2. How Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs Speeches Cost Her the 2016 Electio
This is quoted from the
introduction of quotations from a new book about Hillary Clinton. And
this is from the Wikipedia article on Bill Clinton:
Between April 2013 and March 2015, Hillary Clinton gave 91 paid
speeches averaging $235,304.35 apiece, for a total of $21,648,000. Three
weeks after delivering the last speech, on April 12, 2015, Clinton
announced her second bid for the presidency. During the campaign she
steadfastly refused to release transcripts of her Wall Street speeches.
But on October 7, 2016, WikiLeaks published the full transcripts as part
of its Podesta email release.
Clinton spoke to just about anyone who would pay, including a scrap
metal and recycling conference in Las Vegas, the automobile dealers
association in New Orleans and the National Association of Convenience
Stores in Atlanta. Clinton said that fees from speeches at universities
went to the Clinton Foundation and not directly into her pocket. That
didn’t stop students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas protesting
her $225,000 haul as the university was hiking tuition.
Excerpts in this book are principally from the three speeches she
gave in 2013 to Goldman Sachs executives for a total of $675,000. Asked
by CNN’s Anderson Cooper at a town hall event in New Hampshire on
February 3, 2016, whether it was a mistake to accept that much money,
Clinton responded: “That’s what they offered.”
In 2016, Forbes reported Bill and Hillary Clinton made about $240
million in the 15 years from January 2001 to December 2015 (mostly from
paid speeches, business consulting and book-writing)
3. The Democratic Party’s Deadly Dead-End
This is an interesting article, that includes information on the noble Obama:
In their recent campaigns, Sanders and Corbyn laid
out specific progressive policies to address the real-life problems
facing their constituents and their countries and to raise taxes on the
wealthy and corporations to fully fund healthcare, education and
other vital public services. This represents a dramatic U-turn from the
vague, deceptive talking points of “center-left” Democratic, Labour and
Socialist politicians of the past generation, under cover of which
they quietly sold out their constituents to corporate, plutocratic and
In 2002, when Margaret Thatcher was asked to name her “greatest
political achievement,” she smiled her best
cat-that-swallowed -the-canary smile and purred, “Tony Blair and New Labour.”
The true measure of the Reagan-Thatcher counterrevolution was not how
Reagan and Thatcher changed their own parties’ policies but that they
remade their opposition in their own image and thus marginalized
progressive politics for a generation in both their countries, clearing
the way for the neoliberal transformation of society.
Reagan and Thatcher launched a race to the bottom that politicians in
France, Germany, Japan and the rest of the developed world soon joined
in with. They slashed taxes on the wealthy and corporations, cut funding
for everything but weapons, war and debt, privatized public services,
and abandoned the principle that the wealth and power of wealthy
countries should benefit all their people.
Once elected, Obama dropped more bombs and missiles
on more countries than Bush, and expanded the violence and chaos of
Bush’s “war on terror” to Libya, Syria and Yemen. Obama spent more money on weapons and war than any president since World War II (even after adjusting for inflation) (...)
4. The Constant White House Enabling of Trump's Perverse and Pervasive
I like the "pr*sident".
I am not an American, and I can't honor the function with a man like
Trump filling it. Also, I am a psychologist who thinks - like many
psychologists and psychiatrists - that Trump is a narcissist, which is a personal pathology that makes him totally unfit for any public function (and the above quotation explains why).
One of the number one rules for getting along with narcissists is
that you never say anything that disrupts their seat at the center of
universe. Their views predominate, their needs are paramount, and their
moral judgment of everything in the world is based on whether it affects
them positively or negatively, according to their view.
other words, reality—or any sense that there's an alternative truth to
that of the narcissists'—is a malignant proposition that must be
vanquished at once.
As pr*sident, Donald Trump's narcissistic
tendencies first expressed themselves from the White House briefing
podium when Press Secretary Sean Spicer argued against all evidence that
the attendance at Trump's inauguration exceeded that at President
Obama's. It seems almost quaint now—partly because the clear pictorial
evidence made it so laughable—but that was an inaugural glimpse of where
we were headed, pardon the pun.
5. Even Powerful Senator Can’t Get U.S. Intelligence Agencies to Tell Him
Whether They’re Spying On Him …
Agencies Have Gone Rogue … With No Oversight
A powerful Senator – a member of the Armed Services and Judiciary
Committees, the Subcommittee on Defense of the Appropriations Committee,
and Formerly on the Select Committee On Intelligence (Lindsey Graham) –
asked the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National
- If the government was spying on him when he was speaking with foreigners
- Whether his identity had been “unmasked”
- And whether this information could be used for blackmail by politicians who don’t like him
The counsel for the intelligence agency refused to respond: (...)
Which they can do because they have
appropriated the power. This is a good article on Washingtons Blog,
from which I quote one more bit, basically because it is by William Binney who knows the NSA as very few do:
Washington’s Blog asked the highest-level NSA whistleblower of all time – Bill Binney* – what he thought.
"They won’t tell him because his communications with foreigners and domestically [background]
are being collected and probably targeted. That’s why they don’t ever
want to tell senators or representatives or the president or federal
judges etc. their communications are collected and scanned.
Further, they won’t tell them how many US citizens are in their databases … again because it’s about 280 million by my estimates.
All of these acts are crimes against the constitution and laws of the US which should put them in jail. (see attached)
These letters are a direct violation of the intelligence acts of 1947
and 1978. But, who cares, the intelligence community runs the US
B. Some backgrounds to the Beats and the Diggers
The following to articles are not related to the crisis (except perhaps quite indirectly) but they give good information about the the Beat Generation (<-Wikipedia) and
Haight-Ashbury (inspired in part by the Beat Generation), that again was part of the Hippie movement.
6. DRIVING THE BEAT ROAD
I like this article, which is both rather long and is written by someone who does know quite a lot about the Beat Generation (<-Wikipedia): If you don't know much about them, this is a quite good start.
Late last spring, I drove up the coast from Los Angeles in search of
surviving members of the Beat Generation. Interview times had been
procured with the poets Ferlinghetti (now 98), McClure (84), Snyder
(87), and Diane di Prima (82), as well as Beat-adjacent novelist Herbert
Gold (93). When I told people about my plan, the most common response
was, “They’re still alive?” After all, the loose collective’s three most
famous avatars are long gone. William S. Burroughs and Ginsberg died
within four months of each other in 1997. After chronic alcoholism,
Kerouac’s organs finally burst in 1969.
More than a half-century after their emergence, the Beats still offer up
wild style, a sense of freedom and wonder for the natural world almost
unrivaled in postwar literature. But their work has perhaps been more
misinterpreted than nearly any literary group in history — partially
because there was no consistent ideology binding them. As Ferlinghetti
put it succinctly: “The Beat Generation was just Allen Ginsberg’s
By the way: I like McClure and Snyder, but did not and do not like Ginsberg and Burroughs,
but these are my personal judgements. Also, the Beat Generation is not
only of some literary importance, but also of considerable social and
And here is an answer to the question: Why are these
people still alive in their 80ies or 90ies? Seeing that - for example -
quite a lot of the San Francisco Diggers meanwhile died? I do not know,
but my guess is that they probably did not use hard drugs (as was and is very sensible) .
7. Haight-Ashbury Videos
As my readers may know, I got interested in the San Francisco Diggers  this year, that arose in 1966 in Haight-Ashbury more or less simultaneously with the - much wider - Hippie movement.
Also, while I did know some about the SF Diggers and
Haight-Ashbury since 1967 (I was born in 1950, but in Holland, not in
the USA) I only tried to find out considerably more than I knew before
in 2017, and that turned out to be a bit more difficult than I expected.
There are several reasons for this, and one is that it all happened
decades before there was internet. But the present article is quite
good and comes with three links that I liked because they do render the
Sixties more or less as I remember them (albeit from Amsterdam,
This article starts as follows:
Also, this is from from rockument.com, where there is a quite interesting series: Haight-Ashbury in the Sixties. Recommended!
Haight-Ashbury in the Sixties! CD-ROM
This documentary garnered critical acclaim and reviews that referred
to it as “An unflinching, nonjudgmental chronicle” (Wired), “Inspires
then and now connections, fulfilling any historical work’s highest
calling” (S.F. Examiner), “Truly greater than the sum of its parts”
(N.Y. Post) — at a time when interactive documentaries and musical
experiences were new to the digital media. The following 3-part
rockumentary is an excerpt from this CD-ROM (now out of print).
 This also is one of my fundamental disagreements with the Diggers: They should not have used hard drugs. (I never did, although I did take LSD, mescaline and marijuana in the late Sixties).
 I remarked yesterday - see here - that
I like(d) Wikipedia, but I fear
these days many entries are modified by people who are in the pay of
the Koch brothers or other rich rightists. (I have no proof, but I have been reading a whole lot of the Wikipedia for many years. Also, I never contributed to Wikipedia, in part because the contributors are anonymous: I dislike people who cannot possibly be found out personally.)
on Wikipedia about the San Francisco Diggers is one example: It gets
steadily worse, and now the fine French film about the Diggers, that
was freely accessible for years, also has been made private - which is totally against Digger principles.
(<-Wikipedia) said in 2008 that he thought that the
internet-as-was-then would be dead in ten years or so. It may take a
little longer, but that seems to be the near future: You will be spied
upon by all governmental spies (from anywhere: all they need to do is
tap the cables), and by extremely many corporations that want to find
out what you think, feel, and desire, and most things worth knowing
will be harder and harder to find, or be privatized.