Saturday, December 16, 2017

Crisis: On Net Neutrality, Trump, Roy Moore, ¨Russia-gate¨, Reich
Sections                                                     crisis index

1. Summary
Crisis Files
     A. Selections from December 16, 2017

This is a Nederlog of Saturday
, December 16, 2017.

1. Summary

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 and since two years (!!!!) I have problems with the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible [1] and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and will continue.

Section 2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:

A. Selections from December 16, 2017
1. Killing Net Neutrality Has Brought On a New Call for Public

2. Trump's Popularity Is Plummeting Among Fox News Viewers
3. What's It Gonna Be, White America? Will You Side with Roy
     Moore or Those Who Oppose Him?

4. Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative
5. A Guide to Why the Trump-Republican Tax Plan is a Disgrace
The 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. Killing Net Neutrality Has Brought On a New Call for Public Broadband

This article is by Zaid Jilani on The Intercept. It starts as follows:

The Federal Communications Commission’s 3-2 vote to repeal net neutrality rules has many worried that internet service providers will now build the same sort of tiered internet that some other countries havewhere individual providers can collude to throttle traffic to certain websites and services in order to shake money from consumers or the companies themselves — or both.

For instance, in Morocco last year, multiple internet service providers worked together to briefly block voice chat services like WhatsApp and Skype, in what was interpreted by some as an attempt to push consumers to subscribe to their phone subscriptions instead.

But Seattle’s Socialist Alternative Council Member Kshama Sawant — the prime mover of the city’s successful bid to enact a $15 an hour minimum wage — has another idea. She wants her city to simply build its own broadband network to compete with the private providers, guaranteeing a free flow of unthrottled information.

Well, this is the first proposal I´ve read since the FCC stopped internet neutrality that makes some sense - and in fact I proposed in 2008 to divide the internet in two parts:

One commercial, for rich firms, advertisers etc. and the other non-commercial, for personal websites (no Facebook at all), the news (or part of it [2]), and everybody who dislikes advertising (and spying, but I wasn´t as far as that in 2008).

I still think this was a natural and sensible idea, but it wasn´t picked up at all. Here is some more:
It may sound radical but it’s not unheard of. Today, around 185 communities in the United States offer some form of public broadband service. Because these services are controlled by public entities, they are also accountable to the public — a perk that anybody who has tried to get a broadband company on the phone can appreciate.
Yes, also in Holland: I was told by the liars of the national telecom KPN who pretend falsely that they are ¨¨, that in fact was sold to kpn in 1999, between 2002 and 2009, when my telephone modem had an actual effective service below 4 Kb per second (!!) and very often failed to appear at all - for seven years !! - that
¨Other people do not have these problems, and therefore you do not either. Goodbye Sir.¨
That is, they systematically failed to do anything for me, with systematic and purposive bullshit, and that while the news service and the internet protections they recommended themselves to their users insisted at the same time that 1 out out of 4 of personal computers where I live were cracked, at that time.

This probably was an underestimate - and in 20009 my computer was cracked, and I lost 1 1/2 years of all my data.Then I got fast internet - and since then nearly all my e-mails have disappeared, while I am not busy for two years complaining that my site seems to be updated once a week or so, instead of within 2 or 3 seconds, as it did correctly from 1996 till 2009...

Then this article continues as follows:
In a Facebook post written Thursday night, Sawant urged the state and city to act.
And I am completely out. (For I think Fuckbook + Suckerbug are the sickest and most degenerate spies I know of.)
2. Trump's Popularity Is Plummeting Among Fox News Viewers

This article is by Jessica Kwong on AlterNet and originally on Newsweek. It starts as follows:

In June, 90 percent of respondents in a Suffolk University poll who said they trust Fox over other news networks viewed Trump favorably, but by October, approval had fallen to 74 percent and plummeted to 58 percent in December, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. That’s a 32-point drop in six months.

Accordingly, the percentage of Fox watchers who viewed Trump unfavorably grew in the December poll to more than a third, which was double the unfavorability percentage recorded among Republicans.

Also, Fox viewers who strongly approved of Trump’s job performance dropped from 55 percent in March to 32 percent in October. The Post notes that “what’s interesting” is that the president’s favorability dropped even though Fox viewers from October to November were slightly more inclined to say the U.S. was going in the right direction.

Trump loses support from Fox viewers as his approval rating continues to suffer. The president’s rating hit its lowest point since he was inaugurated in January in a Monmouth University poll published on Wednesday. More than half of respondents in the Monmouth poll, 56 percent, disapproved of Trump’s job performance, and he lost more support from women and independents.

I report this although I have no idea about its factual correctness, and this also seems to contradict what was said in the the next article. Then again, I also did not find much reliable and decent news today, and the above might be true. But see the next article:

3. What's It Gonna Be, White America? Will You Side with Roy Moore or Those Who Oppose Him?

This article is by Chauncey DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It starts as follows:

"What Shall We Do With the White People?" is one of my favorite essays. Written in 1860 by an African-American school teacher and activist named William Wilson (aka "Ethiop"), it is a brilliant response to white supremacy and a white American society that projected pathology and inferiority onto black people as a means of legitimating slavery and all the exploitation, rape, murder and other abuse it entailed.

I read "What Shall We Do With the White People?" several times a year. It always makes me laugh. It also helps me make sense of the social and political insanity of this society, which for all its many positive social changes over the decades and centuries remains fundamentally organized to protect white privilege and the power of white people as a group.
I tried to read it but could only get the first of four pages, together with much information on - I quote - ¨our Copyright and Permissions information¨ that fails to mention how or where one can find the remaining three pages and fails to mention that an article published in 1860 has lost copyright.

Then again, this seems to be the norm since Google pirated all printed books as its own (and making awful photocopies with extremely awful ¨texts¨).

And for me it is a riddle how DeVega has read the other three pages. In any case, here is what the above is in aid of:

As the world now knows, former U.S. attorney Jones, a Democrat, defeated former Alabama Supreme Court justice Moore, largely because of overwhelming support from the black community (especially black women). It was not a landslide victory. Jones won by about 20,000 votes out of 1.3 million cast, a margin of 1.5 percent.

Moore, who is by the preponderance of the evidence an adult sexual predator who targeted underage girls, won a majority among every category of white voter in Alabama. This was even true among college-educated white women.

Roy Moore, a man who wants to take away women's right to vote as well as control over their own bodies, won the votes of white women by a huge margin, 63 percent to 34 percent.

Roy Moore, a man who can reasonably be described as a Christian fascist -- a man who does not respect the U.S. Constitution and has spoken affectionately about the era of slavery, won every demographic of white voters by a large margin.

I agree with DeVega - who is a black man - on the characteristics of Moore. Then again, I don´t think I agree with DeVega´s ending:

Tens of millions of white people voted for Donald Trump. Hundreds of thousands voted for Roy Moore. What kind of white people do they want to be? I think we know the answer. There are no good people who voted for Donald Trump and continue to support him. And there most certainly are no good people who voted for Roy Moore last Tuesday.

For what are ¨good people¨? Or indeed what are ¨bad people¨? Either these judgements are merely a matter of personal taste, or there is something to be said for them in fact.

And I will only answer - here and now - the last question in part:

I´d say people are bad if they are sadists or are (intentionally) malicious. And while I agree with DeVega that there are quite a few sadist and malicious persons among white people, I´d also say that there are strong underlying causes that dispose them that way, namely their stupidity and their ignorance.

But I might be more offensive than DeVega may be...

4. Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative

This article is by Robert Parry on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:

If Russia-gate is the massive scandal that we are told it is by so many Important People — across the U.S. mainstream media and the political world — why do its proponents have to resort to lies and exaggerations to maintain the pillars supporting the narrative?

A new example on Thursday was The New York Times’ statement that a Russian agency “spent $100,000 on [Facebook’s] platform to influence the United States presidential election last year” – when the Times knows that statement is not true.

According to Facebook, only 44 percent of that amount appeared before
the U.S. presidential election in 2016 (i.e., $44,000) and few of those ads addressed the actual election.
I agree with Robert Parry, and I have already dealt with the $100,000 a year (supposedly spent) as compared with the $27 billion spent in total here, but there is a bit more information now, such as that of these $100,000 - related to the the $27 billion as $27 billion / $100,000 = the 0.00001th (a hundred thousandth) part of Facebook's annual revenue - were in fact only spent for less than half of that amount before the elections.

Here is Robert Parry´s answer to these lies:
Why would the Times lie? Because to tell the truth would undercut the narrative of evil Russians defeating Hillary Clinton and putting Donald Trump in the White House – the core narrative of Russia-gate.
I think that is correct, as is this:
The Times also might have put the $100,000 in “Russian-linked” ads over a two-year period in the context of Facebook’s $27 billion in annual revenue, but the Times didn’t do that – apparently because it would make even the full $100,000 look like a pittance.

Trimming the total down to $44,000 and admitting that only a few of those ads actually dealt with Clinton and Trump would be even worse for the Russia-gate narrative.

Ironically, the Times’ latest false depiction of the $100,000 in ads as designed “to influence” the 2016 election appeared in an article about Facebook determining that other Russian-linked ads, which supposedly had a powerful effect on Great Britain’s Brexit vote, totaled just three ads at the cost of 97 cents. (That is not a misprint.)

There is considerably more in the article, that is recommended.

5. A Guide to Why the Trump-Republican Tax Plan is a Disgrace

This article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:

Here are the 3 main Republican arguments in favor of the Republican tax plan, followed by the truth.

1. It will make American corporations competitive with foreign corporations, which are taxed at a lower rate. (...)
2. With the tax cut, big corporations and the rich will invest and create more jobs. (...)
3. It will give small businesses an incentive to invest and create more jobs. (...)
In fact, I skipped most of the text in these points, and indicated it by ¨(...)¨. The first point is evaluated by Reich as ¨Rubbish¨; the second as ¨Baloney¨; and the third as ¨Untrue¨, and he gives his good reasons in every case.

This is a recommended article.


[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that 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.

They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie. They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.

And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my ideas. They have behaved now for 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).

The only 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 (!!).

[2] In fact, I think the real news - all the real facts, without admixtures of propaganda, lies and systematic ommissions - is much too important to leave it to the commercial entities that have been propagandizing and lying continuously, but I agree there still are some papers that depend on commerce and bring ¨the news¨.

I merely mention the problem here to show that I am aware of it (and was ten years ago).
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