A. Selections from October 4, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
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 will
continue with it.
On the moment I have 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
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from October 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:
Expecting Facebook and Google to Curb Misinformation — It’s Great for
This article is by Sam
Biddle on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
We’ve arrived at
the sad, dumb point in history at which the only thing less surprising
than acts of mass violence are the ways in which our planet’s mega
information distributors muck everything up with ensuing frauds,
hoaxes, and confusion. The problem is thoroughly identified: Facebook,
Google, and, to a lesser extent, Twitter have the quality control of a
yard sale and the scale of a 100,000 Walmarts. But despite all our
railing and shaming, these companies have a major disincentive to
Yes indeed, and I have
In the wake of yet another
American massacre, this time in Las Vegas, media scrutiny is aimed once
more at Facebook, Google, and Twitter, for the same old reasons. The
sites, time after time, and this time once more, served
up algorithmic links to websites peddling deliberate lies and
bottom-feeder misinformation. These companies provided an untold mass
of online users with falsehoods posing as news resources, as is
completely normal now and only noteworthy because it was pegged
to a heinous national tragedy.
The first is mostly personal: I very much dislike Google. I
dislike Facebook. I very much dislike Twitter. I very much dislike
Amazone. Except for Google´s index, which I have used in the past
(until more than five years ago) I never used them, and indeed
I can do
very well without.
The second is that I currently think (and see this article on
Brezezinski from 2012) that the internet was created on purpose
the means to have the total population controlled (in secret) by
secret services (and indeed also by the masses of propaganda and
that are spread by the mainstream media).
And the third is a general and quite important fact that I have seen
rarely discussed: ¨Publishing¨ has changed tremendously since
2000 or so, for now there are - literally - the billions on
Facebook and on Twitter, who are nearly all completely anonymous
(except for the secret services and the owners of Facebook and
Twitter), and who can write whatever they please, and do
so, usually within the 140 characters Twitter awarded to its proud
users, and normally without any intelligence or any knowledge,
for the billions with IQs of maximal 100, who are the main
Facebook and Twitter don´t believe in facts, truth, science,
or decency: they believe in whatever seems to support the
beliefs they already have, regardless of its accuracy or sanity.
think in terms of wishful
thinking, and they arrived mostly on the
internet since 2000.
Here is some more from the article:
important to keep Fox News in mind these days. The network is
essentially a less sophisticated delivery vehicle for the same sort of
news that floats to the top of Facebook and other sites’
traffic: Insincere men barking half-truths and innuendos in
order to piss people off.
Yes indeed. And note that
Facebook has extremely many members (whose privacies were bought by
offering them advertisements).
This is from last paragraph in the article:
There is, too, the
problem that we just seem to enjoy being lied to and delight in abusing
one another. Hoax posts and sketchy sites get traffic not just from
fraud bots, but also from eager readers who care much more about
tribalism and score-settling than about accuracy.
Well... I hate being lied to
and I hate being abused, and I take it the same applies to Sam Biddle
and most other intelligent persons.
But the two very basic problems are these:
First, more than a billion ¨publishers¨ were added to the internet
since 2000, and by far the most of these are not highly
gifted and many
belong to the lower half of the IQ-spectrum: There are now a
billion or so Facebook users with an IQ of maximally 100 who can
and do have their say everywhere, and who hardly understand anything
about computers, mathematics, science, truth, ethics, politics,
And second, all of them are fully known (in principle)
from the secret dossiers that both the secret services and
Facebook, Google, Twitter etc. have compiled on almost any user of the
But as I said, I rarely or never saw these two very fundamental
problems recognized or discussed. More later, and this is a recommended
Threats to Democracy
This article is by Noam
Chomsky and David Barsamian. This starts as follows:
Yes, I agree. There is
also this (that I registered several times in Nederlog):
[This interview has been
excerpted from “Global Discontents: Conversations on the
Rising Threats to Democracy,” a new book by social critic Noam
Chomsky and radio broadcaster David Barsamian, to be published in
You have spoken about the difference between Trump’s buffoonery,
which gets endlessly covered by the media, and the actual policies he
is striving to enact, which receive less attention. Do you think he has
any coherent economic, political, or international policy goals? What
has Trump actually managed to accomplish in his first months in office?
There is a diversionary process under way, perhaps just a natural
result of the propensities of the figure at center stage and those
doing the work behind the curtains.
At one level, Trump’s
antics ensure that attention is focused on him, and it makes little
difference how. Who even remembers the charge that millions of illegal immigrants voted
for Clinton, depriving the pathetic little man of his Grand Victory? Or
the accusation that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower? The claims
themselves don’t really matter. It’s enough that attention is diverted
from what is happening in the background. There, out of the spotlight,
the most savage fringe of the Republican Party is carefully advancing
policies designed to enrich their true constituency: the Constituency
of private power and wealth, “the masters of mankind,” to borrow Adam
These policies will harm the
irrelevant general population and devastate future generations, but
that’s of little concern to the Republicans.
A very important
study in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published
in March 2017, reveals that the Obama nuclear weapons modernization
program has increased “the overall killing
power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly
three — and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a
nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win
a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.
Yes, and remember that
Obama also was a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Here is the
that I´ll quote from this article:
Yes indeed. There is a lot
more in this article, that is recommended.
erodes as a natural effect of the concentration of economic power,
which translates at once to political power by familiar means, but also
for deeper and more principled reasons. The doctrinal pretense is that
the transfer of decision-making from the public sector to the “market”
contributes to individual freedom, but the reality is different. The
transfer is from public institutions, in which voters have some say,
insofar as democracy is functioning, to private tyrannies — the
corporations that dominate the economy — in which voters have no say at
all. In Europe, there is an even more direct method of undermining the
threat of democracy: placing crucial decisions in the hands of the
unelected troika — the International Monetary Fund, the European
Central Bank, and the European Commission — which heeds the northern
banks and the creditor community, not the voting population.
These policies are dedicated
to making sure that society no longer exists, Margaret Thatcher’s
famous description of the world she perceived — or, more accurately,
hoped to create: one where there is no society, only individuals.
Greedy Ways Corporations Are Cheating America
is by Paul Buchheit on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
goes well beyond federal tax reporting,
as big companies have used various forms of deception to keep taking
from America, especially with a complicit corporate media unwilling to
report the facts about their behavior.
In fact - I realize - I
may have reviewed this article yesterday, but under another title. If
this happens (it has happened several times) I usually discard the
second review. But
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella writes about the "Quest to
Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone,"
and the company's commitment to "humans and the unique quality we call
The empathy apparently
doesn't apply to the Americans who rely on tax dollars to support basic
needs. Microsoft made over half its 2017 revenue in
the U.S., and it has 57 percent of its long-lived assets in our
country. Yet for 2016 it claimed a loss in the U.S. and a $20 billion
profit in other countries. Microsoft goes on to tell its shareholders,
"As of June 30, 2017, $127.9 billion was held by our foreign
subsidiaries and would be subject to material repatriation tax
I liked Buchheit´s article a lot, so this time I will quote
bits, such as the following:
CEO Doug Oberhelman said, "Legislators in Illinois have created an
environment that is unfriendly to business and investment."
And then are these
leading major frauds
But friendly enough to
tolerate Caterpillar's blatant U.S. tax avoidance. The heavy equipment
company has 56 percent of its property, plants and
equipment in the U.S., along with over 40 percent of its sales and 43
percent of its employees. But in 2016 it claimed a loss of over $2
billion in the U.S. and a profit of over $2 billion overseas. It took
tax credits at both the federal and state levels.
Exxon has over half of its natural gas
facilities, half its developed acreage, the great majority of its
productive and development wells, and half its retail sites in the U.S.
but declared $5.8 billion in U.S. losses along
with $13.8 billion in foreign profits in 2016. Exxon claimed
a credit on its U.S. income tax.
It is all very, very
sick (according to my feelings and values). And this
is a strongly
recommended article: These firms (and some more) are the major
Pfizer CEO Ian Read complained that U.S. taxes had his company
fighting "with one hand tied behind our back." The other hand must be
fudging the books. Pfizer had half of its sales in the
U.S. in 2016, yet claimed an $8.5 billion loss in the
U.S. along with nearly $17 billion in foreign profits. Pfizer
paid just 4 percent of its total income on U.S. taxes in 2016, and was
one of the nine pharmaceutical companies among the top 30
Fortune 500 firms in offshore tax hoarding.
Dow Chemical had 63 percent of its assets and
35 percent of its sales in the U.S. in 2016, but declared almost 90
percent of its income in other countries.
(And in case you disagree about neofascism: Check
Criticizes Ken Burns’s ‘The Vietnam War’
This article is by Denis
J. Bernstein on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
Ken Burns’s 18-hour
documentary on the Vietnam War, which aired on PBS and BBC, presented
extraordinary footage of the war’s grotesque brutality but also
soft-pedaled the motivations of U.S. policymakers as well-meaning
albeit misguided, or as the prologue put it, a conflict begun in “good
faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings.”
This glossing over of
U.S. neocolonialism and its deadly consequences angered John Pilger,
who cut his journalistic teeth covering the Vietnam War for a decade. I
spoke to Pilger after he watched the first couple of hours of the
highly touted series.
Yes, indeed. And I did
review Pilger´s article on Burns´ documentary here. But this interview is a useful
addition, and I agree with Pilger and disagree with Burn, because of
argument like this:
Yes indeed. And the war
in Vietnam was not ¨conducted
in good faith¨, and it was
not done ¨by
decent people¨, and Pilger
is right in what he says
about the Vietnam War (where he went many times, and about which he
made quite a few documentaries).
John Pilger: (..) If we
don’t understand the meaning of the Vietnam War by now, I don’t know
where our brains have been all these years.
Like so many colonial
wars, it was an invasion based on a series of deceptions and lies. This
is effectively denied in the Burns series. It starts off with the
narrator saying that it was all conducted in good faith by decent
people. It was all a big misunderstanding that grew out of the Cold
War, and so on. That is complete nonsense.
The Vietnam War started
specifically with the US arming the French to reclaim their colony in
Indochina after the Second World War. It really got underway for the US
with the Gulf of Tonkin incidents, following which Congress gave
President Johnson the authority to start one of the longest bombing
campaigns in the history of warfare, called “Rolling Thunder.” The long
litany of official documents say it all.
But these filmmakers put
aside all this demonstrable truth and obfuscate what really happened in
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
But the way it is
projected reminds me of the Newsweek cover that described the My Lai
massacre as “an American tragedy.” You get a sense of the same thing in
the Burns film. Yes, they interview Vietnamese, yes, you see terrible
things happening, but the overall sense you are meant to come away with
is that it was a great perplexing tragedy, a great blunder.
The whole thing was genocidal. The bombing of Cambodia between 1969 and
1975 was something like five times the equivalent of Hiroshima.
According to one study that seemed to have credibility, something like
750,000 Cambodians were killed in that bombing. And that was simply a
sideshow to the main event in Vietnam. Total war is a form of
Yes indeed. And this is a
Centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution: a Legacy to Celebrate
article is by Marcus Papadopoulos on The Off-Guardian. It starts as
commemorations will be held in towns and cities across Russia to mark
the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Whilst the state and system
that the revolution gave birth to – the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, and Soviet communism – is no longer in existence today, the
positive legacy of this pivotal event in history has endured in
modern-day Russia. Indeed, as a result of the political, economic and
social carnage of the 1990s in Russia, stemming directly from the
collapse of the Soviet system, and which Russians continue to be
haunted by to this very day, the legacy of what was officially known in
the USSR as the Great October Socialist Revolution continues to receive
more and more prominence within all age groups in Russia today,
including the young.
I say?! Well... I know
- compared to most - quite a lot about the Soviet Union because my
were communists, and because I was born in 1950. In my opinion
can give a quite large amount of literature to defend my opinion, from Robert
Conquest (see his: ¨The Great Terror¨)
to Alexander Zinoviev) the Soviet
was not a socialist
country (as I understand the term ¨socialism¨, and as many agree), but
a dictatorship run by the very few who formed the top
the Communist Party.
Under that dictatorship, some 20 million people were murdered and
as many or more landed in the gulags (<-Wikipedia) were they were
worked to death. There was no freedom of opinion nor a
persons: The country was totalitarian
for the full extent of its
But Mr. Papadopoulos (who is a ¨publisher
and editor of
London-based Politics First magazine, which
is a non-partisan publication for the British Government and the UK
business community¨) may never
have heard of any of this, for he doesn´t mention the terms
¨dictatorship¨, ¨totalitarian¨, ¨gulag¨, ¨KGB¨, ¨freedom¨,
¨repression¨, ¨terror¨ and many more I would have used to
He does mention facts such as these:
The Soviet Union,
in 1920, was the first country in history to introduce free healthcare
for its citizens. For the first time ever, all Russians, regardless of
background, would be entitled to free medical treatment, including
medications and operations. That was a truly remarkable reform and one
that enabled the Bolsheviks to claim, with justification, the moral
high ground over the capitalist world.
I don´t deny them. But
for me the Soviet Union was a non-socialist dictatorship of very
that killed very many, and repressed nearly all for all the years of
its existence, and somebody who praises the ¨socialism¨ of
misses the dictatorship, the gulags, the repression,
totalitarianism and much more does not seem to be honest, in 2017.
Education was another area
that the Bolsheviks completely overhauled and, in doing so, set a
shining example to the rest of the world. Compulsory education for all
Soviet children was introduced, while higher education – in colleges
and universities – was made free.
Illiteracy in the Soviet
Union, which had plagued the old Russia and handicapped her economic
and industrial endeavours, was eliminated within a relatively short
period of time by the Bolsheviks.
 I have now been saying since the
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 1 1/2 years as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will
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 (!!).