from March 4, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
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 two 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.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from March 4, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. China Presses Its Internet Censorship Efforts Across the
2. Are You Listening, America?
Trump's Presidency Is Neither Normal Nor
4. Who Would Want to Work for President Trump Anyway?
5. Putin Claims Strategic Parity, Respect
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:
Presses Its Internet Censorship Efforts Across the Globe
This article is by Paul Mozur on The New York Times. It starts as
Within its digital
borders, China has long censored what its people read and say online.
Now, it is increasingly going beyond its own online realms to police
what people and companies are saying about it all over the world.
For years, China
has exerted digital control with a system of internet filters known as
Firewall, which allows authorities to limit what people see online.
To broaden its censorship efforts, Beijing is venturing outside the
Great Firewall and paying more attention to what its citizens are
saying on non-Chinese apps and services.
As part of that
shift, Beijing has at times pressured foreign companies like Google and
Facebook, which are both blocked in China, to take down certain
content. At other times, it has bypassed foreign companies entirely and
instead directly pushed users of global social media to encourage
this is correct, that is I agree that under Xi Pinjing "Beijing is venturing outside the Great
Firewall and paying more attention to what its citizens are saying on
non-Chinese apps and services."
the whole possibility that the Chinese are "paying more attention to what its citizens
are saying on non-Chinese apps and services" (and I think they are) was created by the
creation of the internet around 1990, which had - quite intentionally,
I think - decided that all mails by anyone from
anywhere were no longer
protected as earlier paper mails were, but were entirely freely
available to any secret service with access to some of the internet
I have read that Mr. Brzezinski
knew already in 1969 what he wanted the internet to be:
Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite
anarchy will seriously obstruct the new
'it will soon be possible to assert almost
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-
containing even personal information
personal behaviour of the citizen, in
customary data.' Moreover it will be
and plan to meet any uprisings in the
will even be able to forecast crises before the
conscious of wanting them. [From 1967]
involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a
society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional
values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files
containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These
files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities." [From 1970]
Mr. Brzezinski did not have the
completely unique ability
to foresee technology's development in the next 20-plus years (for no
one has, except in extremely general terms) I think the
internet-as-is is the intentional product
of the American DARPA, that
also developed it, and was meant
to provide access to
everyone's computer, everyone's mails, and in fact to almost anything
almost anyone may write on any computer connected with the internet.
also why I think the modern personal computer is in fact the instrument
of a neofascistic
system that has been set up to control
everyone anywhere, namely by
knowing everything or most things anyone knows, desires and values.
seen Mr. Brzezinksi develop these
totally anti-democratic possibilities for the internet since
1967, we return to the present-day Chinese:
As Mr. Xi
asserts himself and the primacy of Chinese geopolitical power, China
has also become more comfortable projecting Mr. Xi’s vision of a
tightly controlled internet. Beijing had long been content to block
foreign internet companies and police the homegrown alternatives that
sprouted up to take their place, but it is now directly pressuring
individuals or requesting that companies cooperate with its online
That puts many
American tech giants in a tricky position, especially those that want
access to China’s vast internet market of more than 700 million strong.
In the past, these companies have typically gone to great lengths to
gain a toehold in China. Facebook created
a censorship tool it did not use and released
in the country
without putting its name to it. Apple is moving
data storage for its Chinese customers into China and last year
took down software that skirts China’s internet blocks from its China
App Store. Google recently said it would open a new artificial
intelligence lab in the country.
said, the actual technology by which Mr. Xi is controlling the
Chinese was in fact developed for the purpose of controlling
everyone by Mr. Brzezinski, DARPA and the American secret services
but since it is technology, it can
and has been shared
I should like to know whether there is any
service anywhere that has not
been compiling dossiers
on anyone they could since 2001 at the latest. And in fact I do not
know it (nobody does, it seems, except some of the secret
spies that keep their knowledge wholly to themselves) and so I must
guess - alas, alas, alas - that I am correct. Here is the last bit that
I quote from this article:
China leaned heavily on major internet companies when Guo
Chinese tycoon in self-imposed exile, went on Facebook and YouTube
to accuse a number of Chinese officials of corruption. Chinese
officials last year complained to Google, which owns YouTube, and
Facebook, according to people familiar with the events who requested
anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue
Mr. Guo’s account.
you have it: Of course Fuckbook will do everything
it can to also get over 1 billion Chinese as clients, and
indeed it may well succeed. This is a recommended article.
You Listening, America?
This article is by Scott Ritter on Truthdig. This is from
near the beginning:
On Thursday, Vladimir
Putin, Russia’s much-maligned president, delivered his state of the
nation address to the Russian Federal Assembly (the Russian
national Legislature, consisting of the State Duma, or lower house, and
the Russian Council, or upper house). While the first half of his
speech dealt with Russian domestic issues—and any American who has
bought into Western media perceptions that Russia is a collapsing
state, possessing a failed economy, would do well to read this portion
of the speech—it was the second half of the presentation that caused
the world to sit up and listen.
In this portion of the
speech, Putin outlined developments in Russian strategic military
capability. The developments collectively signal the obsolescence of
America’s strategic nuclear deterrence, both in terms of its present
capabilities and—taking into account the $1.2 trillion nuclear
weapons modernization program President Trump unveiled earlier this
year—anything America might pursue in the decades to come.
Some Western observers have
Putin’s speech as simple posturing, a manic effort to project
Russian power, and with it global credibility, where none exists. Such
an interpretation would be incorrect. There should be no doubt among
American politicians, military leaders and citizens alike. “Every word
has a meaning,” Putin told his audience. The weapons he referred to are
real, and Putin meant every word he said.
In fact I considered
the possibility that Putin may be lying yesterday
and then rejected it for what I think are plausible reasons
(which are the best I can get, indeed like most people).
Here is more by Putin:
“We ourselves are to
blame,” Putin said. “All these years, the entire 15 years since the
withdrawal of the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,
we have consistently tried to reengage the American side in serious
discussions, in reaching agreements in the sphere of strategic
stability.” However, Putin observed, the United States “is permitting
constant, uncontrolled growth of the number of anti-ballistic missiles,
improving their quality, and creating new missile launching areas. If
we do not do something, eventually this will result in the complete
devaluation of Russia’s nuclear potential. Meaning that all of our
missiles could simply be intercepted.”
I think that is correct.
And this is about the main addressee of Putin:
This was a message
delivered not just to the Russian Federal Assembly, but to the White
House and its temperamental occupant, President Donald Trump, to the
halls of Congress, where Russia-baiting has become a full-time
occupation, and to the American people, who have been caught up in a
wave of anti-Russia hysteria fueled by fantastical claims of a Russian
“attack” on American democracy which, when balanced against the
potential of thermonuclear annihilation, pales into insignificance.
And I think I should remind you
that since 1992 Russia is no longer a socialist country, but is
days as capitalist as the USA - which makes much of the
anger that is
projected by the Americans look fairly strange at the very
There is considerably more that I skip. The article ends as follows:
“We are greatly
concerned by certain provisions of the revised nuclear posture review,”
Putin said, “which expand the opportunities for reducing and reduce the
threshold for the use of nuclear arms. Behind closed doors, one may say
anything to calm down anyone, but we read what is written. And what is
written is that this strategy can be put into action in response to
conventional arms attacks and even to a cyber threat.”
Yes indeed -
and a nuclear strategy that "can be put into action in response to conventional arms
attacks and even to a cyber threat" is both extremely dangerous
utterly mistaken. And this is a recommended article.
Presidency Is Neither Normal Nor Acceptable
This article is by Eugene Robinson on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The ceaseless barrage of
news—both real and fake—from the Trump administration can be numbing,
so it’s important to step back every once in a while and look at the
big picture: Never have we seen such utter chaos and blatant corruption.
None of what’s happening is
normal and none of it should be acceptable. Life is imitating art: What
we have is less a presidency than a cheesy reality show, set in a great
stately house, with made-for-television histrionics, constant
backstabbing and major characters periodically getting booted out.
I agree with Robinson
that - at least - little of
what’s happening is normal and little of it should be
Here is more (and the
allegations against Rob Porter are that he beat up his wives):
Porter’s job involved
controlling the flow of paperwork, some of it classified and extremely
sensitive, to the president. Because of those abuse allegations,
however, he couldn’t get a permanent top-secret security clearance.
That was bad enough, but later we learned that dozens of White House
officials, perhaps 100 or more, were working with only interim
clearances, not permanent ones. Their access to secret information was
cut off by Chief of Staff John Kelly—but only after all of this had
Among those now with
limited access is Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, whose heavily
indebted real estate empire and grudging disclosure of his many foreign
contacts worried FBI investigators. Kushner is a senior adviser to the
president whose many assignments include forging peace in the Middle
East—but who now is not cleared for documents or meetings that discuss
what’s really happening in the Middle East or anywhere else. So why is
he still there?
Why was he there in the
first place? Because of Trump’s appalling nepotism.
I think that is quite
correct. That is, without "Trump’s appalling nepotism" neither Jared Kushner nor his wife Ivanka would play any
role in the White House.
Here is some more about
Trump also brought his
daughter Ivanka into the White House as an adviser. What does she do?
What qualifies her to do it? In a real administration, conservative or
liberal, Jared’s office and Ivanka’s office would be occupied by
experienced professionals who actually know something about diplomacy
or administration or some government function.
According to The New York
set up White House meetings for two business executives whose
private equity firm and bank later made loans to the Kushner Companies
real estate firm totaling more than $500 million. Trump’s promise to
“drain the swamp” was a cruel joke. He has expanded it into a vast
protected wetland, to be enjoyed by friends and family.
I think this is also quite
correct. The article ends as follows:
I spent years as a foreign
correspondent in Latin America. To say we are being governed like a
banana republic is an insult to banana republics. It’s that bad, and no
one should pretend otherwise.
And I think that is
probably also correct. This is a recommended article.
Would Want to Work for President Trump Anyway?
This article is by Heather Digby Parton on AlterNet and
originally on Salon. This is from near the beginning:
[W]e're over a year
into the Trump presidency and it's only getting more chaotic. There's a
desperate quality to it that hasn't been there before and people are
beginning to wonder if the administration is even minimally functional.
An astounding number of
people have now left — a nearly 34 percent turnover rate in the
first year. It's unknown how many people have left the government since
Trump took over, but the number is also quite likely high. And that's
not even counting the number of vacancies that Trump and the
Republicans just aren't bothering to fill in the first place.
I think this is all
correct. Here is some on one of the last to leave Trump's government:
Yes indeed - and the only "hope"
I can offer is that I think Jared Kushner was not competent to do
tasks his father in law assigned to him well or at all to start
Hicks isn't the only
staffer to announce her resignation this week. According to BuzzFeed
News, there are many more who are unhappy. And Jared
Kushner and Ivanka Trump's personal spokesman Josh Raffel also put in
his papers. Who knows what he's been dragged into with the ongoing
revelations of conflicts of interest and corruption by his bosses?
After all, this week we also
learned that Kushner's top
secret clearance had been downgraded to the point where most
experts insist that he can no longer do the job he was supposedly hired
Here is the ending of this article:
I think this is too
Perhaps the White House is unraveling, and quite possibly the "corruption are getting worse", but I do not see an end in sight.
And I also think Trump has to be removed to make him disappear,
still controls all of Congress, so I do not see this
happen till after
he has lost the November elections (which it is still possible he may
Trump and his White House
are unraveling. The chaos and corruption are getting worse and there's
no end in sight. On Thursday, after an embarrassing lack of
preparation or planning, and against the advice of his economic team,
Trump announced that he's going to slap big tariffs
on steel and aluminum, sending the stock market into a steep nosedive.
Apparently his top economic adviser Gary Cohn has said he will resign
if this goes into effect.
So the exodus will not be
ending any time soon. And nobody knows who they can find to replace all
these people. What competent person would want to put on their resume
that they worked for President Donald Trump?
Claims Strategic Parity, Respect
This article is by Ray McGovern on Consortiumnews. It starts
Vladimir Putin’s State-of-the-Nation speech Thursday represents a
liminal event in the East-West strategic balance — and an ominous one.
That the strategic equation
is precarious today comes through clearly in Putin’s words. The U.S.
and Russia have walked backwards over the threshold of sanity first
crossed in the right direction by their predecessors in 1972 with the
signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
Amid the “balance of
terror” that reigned pre-1972, sensible statesmen on both sides
concluded and implemented the ABM treaty which, in effect, guaranteed
“mutual assured destruction” — the (altogether fitting) acronym was MAD
— if either side attempted a nuclear attack on the other. MAD might not
sound much better than “balance of terror,” but the ABM treaty
introduced a significant degree of stability for 30 years.
I think this is
probably correct - and if you want to get a good schooling on
the MAD strategy, and indeed get to see one of the best films ever
made, you should try to see Dr Strangelove
(which is from 1964).
And indeed the ABM
treaty was left some 15 years ago by the USA, even though by
that time Russia was capitalist and not socialist anymore.
Here is some more:
In his speech on March 1,
President Putin included an accurate tutorial on what happened after
three decades, noting that Moscow was “categorically against” the U.S.
decision in 2002 to withdraw from the ABM treaty. He described the
treaty as “the cornerstone of the international security system.”
The Russian President
explained: “The ABM treaty not only created an atmosphere of trust, but
also prevented either party from recklessly using nuclear weapons …
because the limited number of ballistic missile defense systems made
the potential aggressor vulnerable to a response strike.”
Putin was saying, in
effect, that no matter how bad — even mad — the MAD concept may seem,
it played a huge stabilizing role. He added that the U.S. rejected all
Russian proposals toward constructive dialogue on the post-ABM treaty
situation, and grossly underestimated Russia’s ability to respond. The
Russian President then gave chapter and verse, cum video clips, on an
array of new Russian weaponry which, he claimed, rendered missile
defense systems “useless.” The show-and-tell segment of Putin’s speech
has been widely
Yes indeed - and I have
considered in item 2 whether Putin's warnings are
credible, and have
concluded they probably are.
Here is more by Ray
It is to be hoped that the
Marine generals running U.S. defense policy, rather than calling
Putin’s bluff, will now encourage President Donald Trump to take up
Putin’s latest offer to “sit down at the negotiating table” and “work
together … to ensure global security” — taking into account that
“strategic parity” is now a reality.
Yes indeed. And this is
about the nuclear madness that reigned in the USA in
Ever since President
Ronald Reagan was sold on the notion that a “Star Wars” ABM system
could provide the U.S. with complete protection from missile attack,
exceptional opportunities to restrain — or even put an end to — the
nuclear arms race have been squandered. Victory has gone to the
arms profiteers — those whom Pope Francis described to Congress as the
“blood drenched arms merchants.”
I quite agree. This article
ends as follows:
By all appearances,
President Putin is as interested in stemming the strategic arms race as
was Gorbachev. On Thursday, Putin talked about this particular moment
being liminal — he called it “a turning point for the entire
world.” Will there be anyone in Washington at the other end of
the phone, if Moscow calls? If, in effect, the
military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media complex answers,
ABM developers will continue to fatten their purses and squander our
It may be time to recall
the admonition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a speech he gave 65
Every gun that is made,
every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final
sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are
cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money
alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its
scientists, the hopes of its children. …
We pay for a single
destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud
of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is
there no other way the world may live?
And I quite agree,
am also cynical enough to add that the most likely outcome is
that "ABM developers will
continue to fatten their
purses and squander our children’s future" - that is if a nuclear was is avoided. This is a strongly
have now been
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 2 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 (!!).