from April 5, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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 April 5, 2018
1. Facebook Scandal Affects More Users Than Thought: Up to
2. Russia Madness on the Eve of Destruction: Hegemony Trumps
King’s Legacy Betrayed
4. Critics Scoff at Zuckerberg's Promise to Comply With New
5. We Have Bill Clinton to Thank in Part for Trump's
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:
Scandal Affects More Users Than Thought: Up to 87M
article is by Barbara Ortutay on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Wednesday that tens of millions more people might have been exposed in
the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal than previously thought and
said it will restrict the user data that outsiders can access.
Those developments came as
congressional officials said CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify next
the data it gathers on users more clearly — but doesn’t actually change
what it collects and shares.
Then again, this is not
very clear, because it does not say (i) how many of the possibly 87
millions of people whose data were scanned by Cambridge Analytica are
Americans (and it seems as if most of the
earlier 50 million were
Americans), nor does it (in any way) treat the - fairly realistic,
it seems to me - possibility that most of the
voters in the last
American elections were made part of the voting propaganda
by Cambridge Analytica.
But the article is
clear about one thing: Zuckerberg will change as little as possible,
for the simple reason that his very many billions of dollars are
derived from stealing as many data from as many users as he can (or so
it seems to me).
Then there is this
In a call with reporters
Wednesday, Zuckerberg admitted he made a “huge mistake” in failing to
take a broad enough view of what Facebook’s responsibility is in the
world. He said it isn’t enough for Facebook to believe app developers
when they say they follow the rules. He says Facebook has to ensure
Facebook is facing its
worst privacy scandal in years following allegations that Cambridge
Analytica, a Trump-affiliated data mining firm, used ill-gotten data
from millions of users through an app to try to influence elections.
Facebook said Wednesday that as many as 87 million people might have
had their data accessed — an increase from the 50 million disclosed in
Well... I have to admit
that - especially since I know that Zuckerberg referred to his members
as "dumb fucks who trusted me" - I do not trust nor
Zuckerberg says. And what he is saying in the above quote is
- that steals all the data it can get from each and any of its users,
to the best of my knowledge - should ensure that those
Facebook for Facebook's stolen data do not get more data (such
as the 50 million or 87 million sets of data appropriated by Cambridge
Analytica) than they ought to.
As I have said before:
The only way to tame Facebook is by making it sure that everything
from everyone is (solidly and unbreakably) encrypted. (I agree
that is probably impossible, but I also think it is quite true.)
Finally, there is this bit that I quote from this article:
As I said above: There is the realistic possibility that most of the voters
in the last American elections were
made part of the voting
done by Cambridge Analytica.
This Monday, all Facebook
users will receive a notice on their Facebook feeds with a link to see
what apps they use and what information they have shared with those
apps. They’ll have a chance to delete apps they no longer want. Users
who might have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica will be
told of that. Facebook says most of the affected users are in the U.S.
while I do not know this to be true, I think it is rather
likely, which is strengthened by the last sentence of the last quote: "Facebook says most of the affected users are
in the U.S."
This is a recommended article.
Madness on the Eve of Destruction: Hegemony Trumps Survival
This article is by Paul Street on Truthdig. It starts as
Noam Chomsky’s 2016 book “Who
Rules the World?” contains a passage in which the great left
thinker asks readers to “imagine you’re a historian a hundred years
from now—assuming there are any historians a hundred years from now,
which is not obvious—and you’re looking back on what’s happening
today.” This reflection appears in a chapter titled “The Eve of
It’s a bracing thought.
Given the current state and rate of environmental destruction, the
continuing advance in the destructive power of nuclear weapons systems,
and the likelihood of pandemics in a warmer and more globalized world,
there are good reasons to wonder if a human civilization with
historians will exist a century from today. We may well be standing
near the “end of history,” and not the glorious bourgeois-democratic
one that Francis
Fukuyama imagined with the end of the Cold War.
And as I have said
several times, my own estimate that there will be
"historians a hundred years from now" is 1/2, although that
mostly based on my
psychologist's assessment of his mental health and my philosopher's assessment of his
policies. (And as to Fukuyama: I think he is a fool since 1992, but
then again there are many academic fools, especially in
"sciences" that are not real
sciences, and Fukuyama studied
"political philosophy" and "comparative literature".)
Here is more:
Speaking of Cold Wars,
United States neoconservative and liberals have in the last three
decades teamed up to create a “new” one with still heavily nuclear-
weaponized Russia. The risk of a nuclear war catastrophe is greater
today than it was during the Cold War, when humanity came close to
disaster on numerous occasions. This reflects the ongoing development
of nuclear weapons technologies and a series of U.S. and U.S.-allied
Western actions that have provoked
Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European
In fact, there is something
rather crazy about the new Cold War with Russia, that I
agree is quite
real. What is rather crazy about it is that Russia is since
years very firmly capitalistic and has
shed nearly all of its
And why would there
be a Cold
War with a capitalist state?! This is a fine question, and it becomes
even more relevant when the ten points Paul Street mentions that "have provoked
Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union" are considered.
I did not list them
review but they are in the original. Then there is this:
Perilous as the nuclear
situation may be, the environmental danger is arguably greater. This is
thanks to the shrinking time window for averting a climate catastrophe
that is unfolding before our very eyes. Nuclear weapons don’t kill off
the human species just by existing. If we continue to miraculously
escape launch (and even a first strike could start nuclear winter on
its own) for a century, we can thank our lucky stars and proceed to
dismantle nuclear weapons in 2118.
I like this article,
but I don't agree with this paragraph, although I admit that my
are not conclusive: I think the dangers that a mad and
neofascist president poses to the world are more serious for
the survival of humanity than the environmental dangers, but I also
agree this may well be a matter of values (and
specific knowledge) rather than facts.
Here is more:
Can we survive and even
maintain a decent or better existence into another and future
centuries? Perhaps. But surviving will require massive, and combined,
dialectically inseparable transformations in our relationships with
each other and with nature, of which we are of course part. It will
require a radical restructuring and revolutionary makeover.
Well... I have little
faith in "combined,
dialectically inseparable transformations in our relationships with
each other", and my own pessimism is
based on - what I regard as - two rather firm facts:
(1) a nuclear war
very probably destroy human civilization, and (2) there simply are too
many human beings to take proper care of within the exististing
economical realities (and I have no patience with people
insisting that "in a different system" this would or might be
different: there is no different system).
Then there is this:
As Thomas Ferguson and his
colleagues have recently shown in an important
study at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Russian
interference was of tiny significance compared to the impact of big
American money in helping Trump defeat Hillary Clinton (and in helping
Clinton defeat herself). At the same time, the U.S. and many of its
close allies commit the same crimes attributed to Russia by American
New Cold Warriors. The world’s and history’s only global superpower,
the United States, regularly interferes in other nation’s politics and
kills people en masse abroad. It does both these things on a much
bigger scale and much farther beyond its own borders than does Russia.
I completely agree
with the above quotation, and I also regard it as an important
indication of how far the mainstream media have meanwhile sunk:
far, for I completely agree with Ferguson and Street (bolding added): "Russian interference was of tiny
compared to the impact of big American money in helping Trump
Hillary Clinton", but
the contrary bullshit
is being maintained now for 1 1/2 years, without any decent
Here is some more:
The present moment is dire.
We are witnessing the remarkable and dangerous continuation of a
bizarre right-wing, prefascist U.S. presidency, subject to the weird
whims and tweets of a malignant narcissist who doesn’t read memorandums
or intelligence briefings. (...)
I completely agree. And this
is the ending of this article:
As I argued above, I believe
Trump is more dangerous than the climate crisis, if only
because he is
mad, and he has maximally the common seven years to destroy the
neoliberal Democrats and their many allies in the corporate media that helped
create the Trumpenstein have spent more than a year running with
the allegation that Russia magically subverted our nonexistent
“democracy” to put Trump in the White House. The climate crisis holds
little interest for the Trump and Russia-obsessed corporate media. The
fact that the world stands at the eve of ecological self-destruction,
with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the
commercial news media.
But this is a fine article that is strongly recommended, and in
there is considerably more than I reviewed.
3. King’s Legacy Betrayed
article is by Margaret Kimberley on Consortiumnews. It starts as
Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. was the preeminent leader of the black liberation movement in
the 1950s and 1960s. Millions of people engaged in the struggle against
America’s shameful apartheid system but King was the most influential.
His actions are remembered, his words are quoted by activists,
politicians, and pundits. His birthday is a national holiday. Only the
worst and most retrograde racists dare to speak ill of King.
But the lionizing is mostly
a sham. In fact there are very few people who remember the importance
of what King said, what he did or why and how they should replicate his
work. His legacy has been subverted and is now understood only by the
most conscious students of history.
Yes, I think this is mostly
quite correct (though I would not bet on how few "very few
Here is more:
Corporate interests are not
alone in pretending to honor King while actually attacking him. King’s
legacy is severely diminished because it has been used by cynical
individuals for corrupt purposes. As we commemorate the 50th
anniversary of his
assassination we see a nation that has moved backwards on nearly every
front. Legalized discrimination was eliminated but powerful forces
undermined progress and America in 2018 is devoid of the change that
King fought to make real.
Much of the blame lies at
the feet of the Democratic Party, who have an undeserved reputation for
enacting progressive policies. In reality, Democrats actively targeted
black people for joblessness, poverty, imprisonment and
disenfranchisement. Democrats became the party of corporate interests
and aligned themselves with every neoliberal initiative. They forsook
the union movement, working hand in hand with finance capitalists to
take living wage jobs out of the country. Bill Clinton oversaw the end
of public assistance as a right, destroying what Franklin Roosevelt
enacted 60 years earlier. He built on the work of Ronald Reagan and
massively increased the prison population.
Yes indeed - and I
completely agree on the assessment of Bill Clinton. Then
there is this
on the next Democratic president after Clinton:
I am afraid this is also quite
correct, and Obama was about as bad as Clinton (but both now
owe more than $100 million: they did very reliably work for their own
Barack Obama offered a
“grand bargain” of austerity to Republicans and continued the George W.
Bush policy of tax cuts for the wealthiest. The banks which created the
2008 financial collapse were rewarded with huge bailouts of public
funds. Black people ended up losing the small bit of wealth they held
before the crash and now lead only in the negative measurements of
quality of life.
And here is more on the Democrats:
public education through charter schools and refuse to raise the
minimum wage even when they control Congress and have the power to act.
They were never the party of peace and they are now most outspoken in
encouraging an anti-Russian resumption of the Cold War and supporting
Precisely. And as far as I
can see, the majority of the Democrats, like the majority of the
Republicans, have been bought by the rich.
Here is the final bit I quote from this fine article:
A glaring example is
the enormous increase in incarceration rates. When Martin Luther King
was alive there were only 300,000 incarcerated Americans. There are now
than 2 million. The exponential increase is not coincidental. Mass
incarceration was a direct reaction to the freedom movement.
Segregation put black people under physical control and the system
devised new ways to secure the same result when it ended.
Yes, though I am
factually correct when I point out that there were about half as many
Americans during Martin
Luther King's life than there are now. But even if that is accounted
for, still there are about three times more prisoners in the USA than
there were during King's life.
This is a strongly
recommended article - and also see the second article
I reviewed above, and the fifth article below.
Scoff at Zuckerberg's Promise to Comply With New Privacy Rules 'In
This article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It has a
summary which I quote because it is quite adequate:
should make clear Facebook will only self-regulate to the extent that
it doesn't threaten its data-hoarding business model."
Precisely - and Fuckbook's
"business model" is massive deception
of - for the major part - extremely naive users to somehow
squeeze all the data that can be squeezed out of them.
Here is some more:
Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg made headlines
last month after suggesting that perhaps his company should be more
tightly regulated following the massive
Cambridge Analytica breach, but the mega-billionaire said in an interview
with Reuters on Tuesday that his company doesn't plan to
comply with the European
Union's strict new data privacy regulations across the globe.
Well... if you believe
that the European Union "new data privacy regulations" are strict, I
take it either you are not a European or you are pretty dumb. For more
on the European Uniob, see April 2, 2018.
Here is some more:
"This interview should make
clear Facebook will only self-regulate to the extent that it doesn't
threaten its data-hoarding business model,"
argued Gizmodo's Tom McKay in response to Zuckerberg's
comments. "Got any complaints? Good luck complaining to the band of
corporate-friendly stooges currently in control of the [U.S]
Set to go into effect in
May, the EU's "General
Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR)—which Reuters calls
"the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the
internet"—will require companies to receive clear consent from users
before collecting their data and allow users to erase personal data
that has been stored.
Tom McKay was right and
Reuters was - intentionally or not - wrong:
The only rule
makes data stealing impossible is to
encrypt absolutely everything. All
other rules are deceptions, while the European Union is an explicitly
system ruled by non-elected super-bureaucrats
who changed the excellent
Human Rigths rules of 1948 into the utterly
sick, extremely dangerous, neofascistic,
degenerate rules that hands
all power to the secret services (the states' own terrorists):
These anonymous states'
terrorists are now assigned "the positive obligation" to know
everything about everyone; do so in complete anonymity; and
few people knowing anything about what these all-powerful secret and
anonymous organizations may do to anyone exposed to them.
And this is a strongly
Have Bill Clinton to Thank in Part for Trump's Propaganda Machine
This article is by Jacob Sugarman on Truth-out and
originally on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
If you spent any time on
social media over the weekend, you've probably seen it by now. On
Saturday, Deadspin's Timothy Burke published
a supercut of news anchors for the Sinclair Broadcasting Group
reciting a distinctly Trumpian promo. "We're concerned about the
troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our
country," each of them intoned. "The sharing of biased and false news
has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media
outlets publish these same fake stories, stories that just aren't true,
without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the
media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to
control 'exactly what people think.'"
The post quickly went
viral, earning tens of thousands of retweets on Twitter and capturing
the attention of "Last Week Tonight's" John Oliver, who compared
Sinclair's staffers to "members of a brainwashed cult." Reporters and
corporate watchdogs alike have voiced
their dismay, decrying the American telecommunications company's
abuse of the public trust. But what few have acknowledged, and what
Oliver himself neglected to explore, is how the engine of Donald
Trump's propaganda machine was constructed by none other than Bill
In fact, in the last 22
years that I have been on the internet, I almost completely avoided
each and any of the a-social media, precisely because these are extremely
very a-social, and almost completely anonymous,
and that leaves out the fact that they all seem to steal all the
they can get about their users and even about their visitors.
And I did not
Burke's item, but I am fairly aware (from other publications: I read 35
sites every day) of Sinclair and its enormous dangers.
Also, I think Sugarman is quite correct. Here is (bolding added) "how the engine of Donald Trump's propaganda
machine was constructed by none other than Bill Clinton":
In 1996, Clinton passed the
Telecommunications Act, the first major overhaul of the country's
telecommunications legislation in over 60 years. For decades, the FCC
abided by what was known as the rule of seven, prohibiting any one
company from owning more than seven AM or FM radio stations or seven
television networks. Under President Ronald Reagan, the rule of seven
became the rule of twelve. It wasn't until the subsequent Democratic
administration, however, that the rule was abandoned entirely in favor
of a national ownership cap, allowing a single entity to own as much as
35 percent of market share.
Precisely - and
how this effects American democracy (that seems to have been
upended mostly anyway, by Clinton and others):
Twenty-two years later,
that deregulation threatens to upend our democracy. The far-right
Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which allegedly struck a deal with Jared Kushner during the
2016 election to provide the Trump campaign with more favorable
coverage, currently reaches approximately 38 percent of American
households. If the organization is successful in its acquisition of the
Tribune Media Company, that number could climb to 72 percent.
"The Telecommunications Act
of 1996 did not just permit consolidation in TV," noted Guardian reporter Kevin Carty last
November. "It paved the way for radio monopolization as well.
Before the law, it was illegal for one company to own more
than 40 radio stations. Today, the company formerly known as Clear
Channel -- iHeartMedia -- owns 858 stations."
Again precisely, and
this is a strongly recommended article.
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 (!!).