1. The Nefarious
Surveillance State Dangerously Inhibits
Self-Expression and a Healthy
2. Facebook's Monopoly & Surveillance
Free Press and a Free Society
The Nazi hunters who wouldn’t give up: “Many war
criminals… simply went back
and resumed their lives”
4. Business Insider CEO: 'There Are No
Publications Any More'
5. Real Time with Bill Maher: Michael Moore –
Invade Next (HBO)
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, May 22,
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about the Surveil- lance State (with two S's, quite correctly); item 2 is about Facebook and quite good; item 3 is about Nazi hunters (about whom I know a fair
amount: this seems a good article); item 4 is by
some Business CEO whom I initially misjudged; and item 5
is about a nice video in which Bill Maher interviews Michael Moore
about his latest film (yes, it is relevant to the crisis).
1. The Nefarious Surveillance State Dangerously Inhibits
Self-Expression and a Healthy Democracy
The first item is by Kali Holloway on AlterNet:
This starts as
The nefarious brilliance of the
surveillance state rests, at least in part, in the fact that it conveys
omniscience without the necessity of omnipresence. Since even its
verifiable actions are clandestine and shadowy, revealed not through
admission but by whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden
and Jeremy Hammond, its gaze can feel utterly infinite. To modify an
old phrase, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not
watching you—especially given that you now have proof. But if you never
know precisely when they’re watching or exactly what they’re looking
for, can you ever be paranoid enough?
Hm, hm. The opening statement also "conveys"
the impression that the fascist spies who spy on you 
also can do so if you have no internet
connection on your computer (it is, say, air gapped: Never had any
connection with internet).
But that is just false baloney. So no: This - that the internet "conveys omniscience without the necessity of omnipresence" - is not the "nefarious
brilliance of the surveillance state". That
briilliance exists, but is wholly different from what
it is presented as in this article.
"The nefarious brilliance of the
surveillance state" basically consists of three
points, each of which corresponds to a very similar systematic
breaking of the laws that governed all by both the governments,
the politicians who supported them, and the big banks:
- Most people were terrified by
"terrorism, Terrorists, TERRORISTS!!, We From Your Trusted Goverment
Assure You", and these - mostly totally unfounded - fears were abused
to push through a great many anti-democratic authoritarian laws;
- The internet was designed by US
Defense that - intentionally or not -
made everything unencrypted, which means that
anybody who could
access the internet cables could access everything;
- The basic human rights everybody had
were systematically denied and falsified by both
the big governmental secret dataminers and the big corporate
secret dataminers, and every basic right people had
was transmorphed to a duty to assist "your government" in "The War
It was not technical
brilliance that allowed Facebook, Google and the NSA and GCHQ to find
out absolutely everything about you. I was a matter of design of
the unencrypted internet combined with deregulating all laws that prevented
spying and protected privacy.  And
this was all done very intentionally, from the very
beginning, because the US governmental spies already in the 1960ies
foresaw the internet they wanted, and systematically
planned for it ever since. (See here
for some proof.)
The backgrounds to the systematic pervasive spying on all the billions
who have internet computers is the systematic design by "our"
governments, "our" politicians, "our" mathematicians, engineers and technicians, and "our" lawyers
of a totally open, totally unencrypted private computers, that
could be spied upon by anyone with sufficient money (like: the
governments and multi- national corporations), together with very
many deregulated laws and many redesigned "laws"  that made this spying on everyone "legal" .
But OK - I am not a journalist, and Kali Halloway probably means well.
Also, apart from this introduction, the article is recommended, for it
conveys facts like these:
This is, to some degree, the
concern of many Americans, according to a new
study from Oxford University. The Washington Post reports
researcher Jonathon Penney found that Snowden’s leaks about government
surveillance had a “chilling effect” on American adults’ internet
habits. Penney looked at Wikipedia searches conducted after June 2013,
when news of NSA spying programs so thoroughly dominated headlines that
percent of Americans became aware of them. In the wake of the
story, he found “a 20 percent decline in page views on Wikipedia
articles related to terrorism, including those that mentioned
‘al-Qaeda,’ ‘car bomb’ or ‘Taliban.’” The traffic for those pages
dropped precipitously after the Snowden files came to light, and
continued to slide over the next year, suggesting a “longer-term impact
from the revelations.”
That is: "the concern
of many Americans"
is that they are afraid of their own governments and its (secret or
non-secret) police forces - and as the above quotation conveys,
in 5 of all Americans took steps to prevent that the
government would find out that they have interests that the
government might not like (now or later).
In other words: 1 in 5 of Americans behaved as if they are already
living in a totalitarian
and prove they do by not reading
anymore in a public encyclopedia about stuff they would have
they did not think that doing so would endanger them
(or their children, or their children's children).
Here is more evidence of the same:
Even the most innocuous online
behaviors have been tempered since the NSA’s sweeping data grabs became
public. The U.S. Department of Congress polled
41,000 internet-using households about the way privacy and
security concerns influenced online activities. Approximately 18
percent named “data collection by [the] government” one of their
foremost fears. In a May 2016 press release, the agency states that,
along with other trust-eroding issues such as identity theft and
fraud-related topics, “45 percent of online households reported that
these concerns stopped them from conducting financial transactions,
buying goods or services, posting on social networks, or expressing
opinions on controversial or political issues via the internet, and 30
percent refrained from at least two of these activities.”
This is again the 20% that was found
research reported in the previous paragraph (which may well be the 20%
of Americans that is both reasonably educated and reasonably
intelligent), while nearly half did not do "financial transactions, buying goods or services, posting on
social networks, or expressing opinions on controversial or political
issues via the internet".
It so happens that I do not do these things by internet either,
simply because I could not and cannot trust it from
the very beginning (I have internet for nearly 20 years and a PC
for nearly 30 years), indeed apart from my "expressing
opinions on controversial or political issues via the internet", which I do because I love freedom and do
not have any children. 
Facebook's Monopoly &
Surveillance Antithetical to Free Press and a Free Society
second item is by Amy
Goodman on Democracy Now!
This starts as follows:
On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with top conservative
media figures, including Glenn Beck, Dana Perino and Tucker Carlson,
after his company was accused of suppressing news stories on political
grounds. Former Facebook workers told the website Gizmodo they
routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers
by keeping them out of the "trending" stories section on the sidebar.
"The concerns are legitimate," says media analyst Robert McChesney,
"but the real question is: Should we have a private monopoly that has
so much political influence and political power?" McChesney also
discusses Facebook’s surveillance and access to user’s data, and
whether such companies could be nationalized.
I am not interested in Suckerbug's meeting
the idiot Beck, but I agree with Robert
McChesney (<-Wikipedia): Facebook is very dangerous, and the
title of this article is completely justified.
Here is some more by McChesney:
McCHESNEY: Well, it’s a real problem, in the sense that the
issue here is the one that’s not being talked about, the elephant in
the room, the two-ton elephant, which is Facebook is a monopoly, and
they have monopolistic power, as do a number of these digital giants
that are the largest companies now, in terms of market value, in the
world economy. And so, what Facebook does, or Google or Amazon, has
immense influence over how people see the world and understand the
world. And so, the concerns are legitimate, if you feel you’re getting
the raw end of the stick. But really, the real question is: Should we
have a private monopoly that has so much political influence and
political power? I think democratic theory is unequivocal on this
point: no. This is really antithetical to anything remotely close to a
free press and a free society.
Yes, quite so. And my own answer is quite
clear: No, such private monopolies should be forbidden, indeed
corporate monopolies; the reasons are that they have far too much
and far too much money concentrated in the hands of some
very few; this
is totally against all democratic notions; and it is also totally
against "a free press and a free society".
If you want a free press in a free society, you must forbid
Google, Amazon, and quite a few more. If you do not want to forbid Facebook, Google, Amazon, and quite a few more, you
are against a free press and against a free society. It
really is as simple as that.
Here is some more McChesney:
Yes, I agree: I don't want giants like
Facebook, Google, Amazon and a few others to own the internet and
secretly find out everything about anyone. This is not
AMY GOODMAN: So what should happen to
Facebook, do you think?
McCHESNEY: Well, I think this is the great discussion of the
next generation. There’s nothing on the table now. But as a society, we
have to consider, as we move into this heavily digitized economy—and we
have, you know, four, five, six companies that dominate it, and the
largest companies in the world in terms of market value, and they’re
privately owned, and they own the politicians—is this acceptable? And
if it isn’t, where do we go from here? And I think that’s the great
discussion we’re going to have, because the status quo isn’t
going to work.
But I think the situation is probably already so bad and so incredibly
unequal that "discussion" probably will not change much, simply because
the billions, the monopoly powers, and the freedom to spy on everything
anyone does, have already been acquired by some ten or so
extremely powerful incredibly rich individuals.
They will not give up these extra-ordinary powers and the
extra-ordinary riches these entailed for them. And they have
the riches and the
powers to hold on to them, especially since most politicians these days
Here is the last bit I'll quote from this article:
Again quite so. And this is also why
I do not
think much will change without one of the following changes: Either a
radical, honest and competent innovator gets elected in the USA as
president, or else the whole Western economy goes into a major
collapse, as it did in 1929.
AMY GOODMAN: How much Facebook knows?
McCHESNEY: Yeah, exactly, and that’s another issue. We’ve got
these digital companies, aren’t just monopolies in the sense that a
train company is, but they’re a monopoly in the sense that they
actually are doing surveillance. They have all the data on all of us.
And they have a very strong interest in being on good terms with the
federal government and the national government. They’re really joined
at the hip. And the national government, once you get away from
election time and once the door closes, has a real clear record of not
being especially interested in civil liberties of citizens.
Otherwise I am pessimistic about changes for the good
in the present
Far too much has happened to further the bad,
favoring the bad - knowing everything about everyone; bombarding them
with "free advertise- ments"; manipulating the news and the opinions
one sees - have already assembled far too much powers and
amounts of money for the very few very rich.
The Nazi hunters who wouldn’t give up: “Many war criminals… simply went
back and resumed their lives”
The third item is by Scott Timberg on Salon:
starts as follows - and is quite interesting for me, whose
was murdered in a German concentration camp, and who father survived
3 years and 9 months of the same, both for being members of the Dutch
communistic resistance against the Nazis :
Detailed, dramatic, and at times
gripping, Adam Nagorski’s “The Nazi Hunters” looks at about a dozen men
and women who kept pushing at a time when the world was trying to move
on. Hunters like Simon Wiesenthal and Serge and Ben Klarsfeld are
characters here, as are Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, Auschwitz
commandant Rudolf Hoess, “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele, “Bitch of
Buchenwald” Ilse Koch, and the notorious Holocaust mastermind
Much of the book chronicles various
hunts and tells the stories of those who led them. But it also
considers the larger moral issues around the effort: Were these hunters
motivated by vengeance? What could be gained by arresting rickety old
camp guards, decades later? How much were the villains responsible for
In fact, this article is an interview with
Nagorski (<-Wikipedia), who seems to be around my age, and had
Polish parents (who emigrated to Scotland, and then to the USA). I do
not know more about him.
As to myself: Both of my parents were
communists (real ones, and not quasi ones ) and
communists in the thirties or forties because of the
arisal of Nazism. I was born in 1950, and recall the 1950ies mostly as
poor time (which did not strike me as much then as later,
almost everyone I knew was poor), in which one of the things both of my
much concerned with was anti-fascism.
And two of the things I was rather amazed
at were that (1) very few other people than those who had been
hit personally in a radical fashion by the Nazis
wanted to do much against them, and (2) the (ex-)Nazis themselves
their positions during WW-II by denying the validity of any concept
subjective objective truth:
That did not exist, they argued, and therefore they
could not be blamed.
There is much more I could mention here,
but both of the facts I mentioned were known to me by 1958, and
I was rather amazed at both of them.
Next, as to the questions posed at the end
of the last quoted paragraph:
"Were these hunters motivated by
vengeance?": Of course they were - and I do not see anything
that, if your family has been gassed, and your friends were cruelly
murdered, starved or worked to death. Then again, while this was
a personal motive, there also was two more comprehensive
motives, namely justice
and the desire to inform people what had happened in the camps and
during WW II. Again, both motives are quite respectable and decent,
and the second was there because all through the fifties and most the
sixties Nazism was presented as "a thing of the past", that it was
unwise to stir up.
"What could be gained by arresting rickety
old camp guards, decades later?": Justice, in one word.
Besides, in the
1950ies and 1960ies most were not old, for most Nazis had been
born between 1900 and 1920. As to the justice
involved: Why is it just that somebody who smoked marijuana
years imprisonment and somebody who killed a 100 Jews and helped
killing tenthousands more gets no punishment or a few years
imprisonment? (Etc. etc.: The Nazis ran one of the most systematic
mass murdering schemes ever designed.)
"How much were the
villains responsible for their actions?":
They were personally responsible if they had a personal free
There are extenuating circumstances (most Germans were
in the end those who decided it was their duty to murder Jews,
communists, socialists and any other opponents of Hitler or Nazism, decided
to do so themselves. (And see Christopher
"Ordinary Men", which is about a company of quite
ordinary Germans that
killed on average 165 Jews a man, only because they
Here is some background, especially on the
1950ies and 1960ies:
Yes, indeed: That is also how I recall it.
There were a few Israeli Nazi-hunters, and a few Jewish
but indeed they were either not considered at all in the
(until Eichmann got arrested and convicted) or they were portrayed as
"fighting the last war" and - perhaps - not quite sane.
The United States and Britain
were more concerned with the Soviet Union. We were trying to put this
stuff behind us, and West Germany was an ally at this point.
Yes, West Germany was an ally. We wanted
people to not antagonize the Germans at this point. I talked to a man
who had been in charge of the first CIA base in Berlin after the war.
He was from a German-Jewish family and had gotten out as a boy in the
‘30s and eventually ended up in the United States. He joined the army
and the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA, and then joined the CIA and
becomes the head of this base. I asked him about his attitude towards
Nazis at that point when the Cold War set in and he said, “None of us
were interested in fighting the last war. What we had to do was done in
Nuremberg and the Dachau trials, and now we had two urgent concerns:
Russians the crackers'
governments also deregulated all they could, and
People forget how quickly this was put on
the back burner. Even Israel, after it was created, was not necessarily
in the business of hunting Nazis. That’s one of the great myths, that
there were Israeli Nazi hunters everywhere.
ambiguated and falsified the restsnatching
scientists and trying to maintain support in West Germany for the cause
of the Western Alliance.”
In my experience this only changed around 1970. Here is some
more about WW II:
Part of the thing about the trials was
that the notion was that this was not going to be vengeance. First of
all, you owe it to the victims to put some people on trial, but also,
you owe it to history and to our understanding of history to put it on
the record. Because our understanding of genocide, of the Holocaust, of
the horrors of World War II, is, to a large extent, the product of
these efforts of the Nazi trials, a few of which continue today.
Without that, I think the tendency, certainly within Germany and
Austria, was to say, “Oh, it was a war. Bad things always happen in a
war.” At the end of most wars, the victors might execute a bunch of the
vanquished and pillage and rape and so forth, and then that would be
But here it was to establish some
international norms, to show that this was no ordinary war, that to say
you were just following orders was not acceptable, and in fact, in some
ways condemned you. Because you clearly knew that these were orders
that defied every notion of human rights and international norms. So it
set knew principles. Now, whether we have lived up to those principles
or not is a different matter, but it was unprecedented, what happened.
Yes, indeed. I agree that "our understanding of genocide, of the Holocaust, of the
horrors of World War II, is, to a large extent, the product of these
efforts of the Nazi trials",
and indeed the Holocaust
(<- Wikipedia) was a return to a barbarism - the planned
murder of some 11 million persons, of which over 6 million were
murdered - that was quite unique.
And it is also true that - especially,
though not only - the Nuremberg trials made it clear that "this was no ordinary war, that to say you were just
following orders was not acceptable, and in fact, in some ways
condemned you. Because you clearly knew that these were orders that
defied every notion of human rights and international norms."
Here is the last bit I'll quote:
But it’s also true that aside from some
of these really top Nazi criminals who feel they need to flee Europe
and hide elsewhere—Klaus Barbie, Josef Mengele, those kinds of
people—there are many, many war criminals who simply went back and
resumed their lives, often taking ordinary jobs, some in the civil
service. That was true in both East Germany and West Germany, even
though the Soviet side always claimed that all the war criminals were
in West Germany.
The best way in East Germany to prove your
loyalty to the new regime, if you had been a Nazi party member or a
member of the Gestapo, was to serve the new regime and join the
Communist Party or the Stasi, the secret police.
Again quite true. And besides, many of
those who were punished by the Nuremberg trials and who were not
hung, were often released after surprisingly short sentences,
of 3 to 6 years imprisonment.
This is a good article that is recommended.
Insider CEO: 'There Are No Must-Read Publications Any More'
The fourth item is by Isabell Hülsen on Spiegel
is here because it was selected on the basis of a mistaken
thought the person interviewed - one Blodget - had some interesting
things to say, but in fact he seems to exist to make himself rich.
But OK - I have selected it, and give three bits. Here is the first:
Blodget: First of all:
Digital is profoundly different than television, radio or print.
Buzzfeed and other digital companies are capitalizing on that
difference. You could not have a TV show where all you do is wrap
rubber bands around a watermelon for 45 minutes. But for people who are
bored at work or at school it was perfect drama, a digital media event.
In brief, digital is far more stupid than the
printed press, but because there are far more stupid people who
publish their stupid and ignorant
idiocies, We Who Like To Get Rich, say that "Digital is profoundly different". Next bit:
Translated: Not at all. We Who Make Money By Advertising
just love stupid and ignorant consumers! Here is the last bit I'll quote:
SPIEGEL: The fact that serious
news publications have to compete for eyeballs and advertising money
with digital-only publications that focus more on reach than on
journalism is nothing to worry about?
Blodget: Again, successful
publication is all about the mix. What Buzzfeed discovered was that
people like cat pictures.
Translated: We Who
Money By Advertising (And Lying
Kinds, From Medicines To Our Exceptional Government) insist
SPIEGEL: Your headlines are
often bullish, vigorous and colloquial. What about the more quiet and
Blodget: The reason is that in
print, once readers have bought the paper, it actually doesn't matter
if they read the story. We have to draw readers into every single
story. In the early years we did a lot of training around that. What
happened typically was that somebody would spot a great story and say
it to the newsroom. Everybody would say, oh, that's great, write it.
And the journalist would write it, with a formal newspaper headline
that nobody would want to read. And we'd say: No. Go back to what you
said. And by the way, that's also the tweet. People love our
we are doing excellent work by dumbing down everything as far
as we can. And you know: These stupid and ignorant billions of "People love our
Real Time with Bill Maher:
Michael Moore – Where to Invade Next (HBO)
The fifth and last item today is a
video by Bill Maher (<-Wikipedia). It is an interview with Michael
Moore about his latest film:
It is here because I like Maher and Moore
(without agreeing on everything with either) and because Moore made a
movie about the things the Europeans excel in (but shall not
any more after TTIP is accepted as law).
am sorry: My grandfather was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp; my
father survived more than 3 years and 9 months of Nazi concentration
camps; I have been called "a dirty fascist" from 1977-1988 because I
and not a Marxist
- and I am supposed not to call
the completely corrupt utter moral degenerates who are secret spies on
"fascists"?! I will, and those who disagree can go to court - and mind
you: I judge you relative to my father, who was an anti-fascist hero
knighted, as one of the only two communists ever
knighted in Holland.
And I will want the same money from you as I want from the City
of Amsterdam after gassing me
because I opposed the illegal drugsdealers that were protected by
Amsterdam's mayor, Amsterdam's aldermen, Amsterdam's district attorney,
Amsterdam's lawyers, and Amsterdam's ombudsman.
 I think these are the main two
reasons everyone is now fully known by both the government
and the multi-national corporations Facebook, Google, Amazon etc.: It
has been designed to be cracked with the least possible difficulties,
and the crackers' governments also deregulated all they
could, and ambiguated and falsified the rest
(like the First and Fourth Amendment, that are now supposed to give
freedom to the crackers, while the Fourth Amendment is supposed to be
about opening paper envelopes only).
Given the evidence I know now, I think both were quite intentional.
 Again: Both were intentional.
The deregulations were in place since 1980, and were
taken up with a vengeance by Bill Clinton, who seems to have deregulated everything that served
as a barrier against exploitations
by the rich (which he called "Freedom!", without adding
the very true "for the few rich to exploit you poor all they can and
make me a multi-millionaire").
The redesigns were often done by some lawyerly
signature that meant that - according to that lawyer, the White House
desired - a certain term used in laws suddenly meant something quite
different than the dictionaries said they meant. Again, these were
generally accepted over the dictionary-meanings, simply because
"lawyers" said so, and the White House was claimed to approve.
 I put quotes around "legal" simply
because I hold both deregulations and redesigns were grossly and
intentionally illegal, and also were implemented in illegal
ways. I simply do not accept "laws" that were accepted
because of unacceptable illegal means.
 Yes, indeed. As to my not
children: I think the NSA and the GCHQ are two of the most fascistic
organizations there have ever been, and I think they are and
preparing for neofascism since decades now.
Also, if you gather all information you can get on anyone anywhere,
is not because of "terrorism" of a
few Islamists: It is because you are state- terrorists who are
extremely heavily funded to find out everything about the
sub-humans they spy upon because this will give you all the power you
need and very much more power than anybody ever had.
You are sick and you are Exceptional. Precisely like Heydrich
and Himmler, who called my father and grandfather "political
 I have written about this (mostly in
Nederlog) quite a few times now, both in English and in Dutch. Here is
a bit of news about my family (both of my parents, one grandparent)
being communists or else anarchists (two other grandparents):
I am not a communist since I was 20, and gave it up fundamentally
because (1) I had found mistakes in Marx's economy (I
was right, and
the best exposition I know is in Ian Steedman's "Marx after
because (2) I thought that the plans and ideas of the leadership of the
Dutch CP were both false and stupid; and because (3) I was quite
sickened by the totalitarian
atmosphere in the CP.
Besides, I had found Bertrand Russell
(<- Wikipedia) by 1969/1970, and I liked him
better as a philosopher and as a liberal socialist than I did the CP.
This also played an important role, but more in the background.
My parents both were communists for something like 45 years. I do not
blame them for it (and never did) because while I think they
intellectually mistaken, they were no intellectuals (neither went to
school after age 15); they were not more mistaken than most of
contemporaries who chose some different political faith, but usually
with fewer justifications (for especially my father at least
Marx, Engels and Lenin); and they were much distinguished by being in
the resistance against the Nazis, which few Dutchman
dared to do.
Finally, as to the risks they ran: My grandfather was murdered
"political terrorist"; my father spent more than 3 years and 9 months
imprisoned as a "political terrorist"; my parents were discriminated (very
falsely) as "traitors to Holland" for decades
because they were communists; and the Dutch CP lost 2000 of its members
in WW II (circa 1 in 5 members) and was the only Dutch
to go into the resistance from the capitulation onwards (and before
Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union).
The distinction between real communists, like my parents and
grandparent, and quasi communists, like everyone I met in the
University of Amsterdam who claimed being Marxists (they
silent about their
being members of the CP, but many were), is quite fundamental
to me, especially because I have been much opposed to the quasi-communists
who ruled much of the University of Amsterdam between 1971 and 1995, when
Dutch universities were formally and factually in the hands of the
students (who made an enormous totalitarian
mess out of it). For more
on this, see May 17, 2016, especially
note  and .