from May 16, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
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.
2. Crisis Files
These are five crisis files
that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from May 16, 2018:
1. Gina Haspel and the Fiction of a Feminist CIA
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:
2. Europe’s Data Protection Law Is a Big, Confusing Mess
3. Palestinians Mark 70th Anniversary of Nakba After Israel
Kills 61 &
Wounds 2,700 Protesters in Gaza
4. 'Death of Democracy' author says Trump’s 'cultivation of
strongly reminiscent of Nazis
5. A Staggeringly Well-Funded Blowback Machine
Haspel and the Fiction of a Feminist CIA
This article is by Cora Currier on The Intercept. It starts
Since the announcement of
Gina Haspel as the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the CIA, the
White House, the agency, and its defenders have leaned heavily on the
fact of Haspel’s gender, singling out its historic significance, and
suggesting that she ought to be supported because of it. They use it to
undermine critics who believe that the most salient thing to consider
about Haspel is her role overseeing a CIA black site prison in
Thailand, where people were tortured, and her role in the destruction
of videotapes of interrogation sessions.
White House spokesperson
Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted
last weekend that “any Democrat who claims to support women’s
empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a
total hypocrite,” while Trump’s tweets often mention she’s “a woman.”
say. Let´s see: There are about 0,000000001 Americans who
torture while about 0,5 Americans are women, so therefore
anyone who opposes the nomination of a torturer as head of the
CIA ¨is a total hypocrite¨
who opposes ¨women’s empowerment¨?!?!?!?!
How insane can one
be, as spokesperson for the present White House?!
In any case, my
conclusion us that Sarah
Huckabee Sanders is an utter fraud or else totally insane. (Of course,
she may be both.)
Here is more by Cora Currier:
But even if she did make it
easier to be a woman working at the CIA, that misses a bigger point:
What are those women working for?
Haspel’s case makes a
caricature of feminism that would say any glass ceiling is good to
break: The Onion
headline, “Gina Haspel Recalls Having to Torture More Prisoners
Than Male Colleagues to Prove Herself” must have been only too easy to
Well... I ceased
being ¨a feminist¨ (if indeed feminists allow males to be feminists) in
1970, because I opposed the ¨feminist¨ academic
females who then made careers in academia by effectively trying
to force all women to become wage-slaves.
They also succeeded,
so now in any ordinary family both parents have to work to get
an income to raise a family, and most parents ceased to be able
to educate their own children properly.
A global feminist
perspective insists that we can’t blindly celebrate the historic
advancements of women within the U.S. national security state at the
expense of critiquing the policies in which those women are implicated.
We have to consider the impact of U.S. wars, assassinations,
surveillance, and other policies on women the world over.
It’s analogous to the critique of the corporatism of Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean
in” feminism: It may be good for the careers of individual women,
but it does nothing to address the injustices perpetrated by the system
as a whole.
As I said, I don´t
think most ¨feminists¨ since 1970 are real feminists (as e.g.
Goldman was). And besides, feminism or ¨feminism¨ are both
totally inappropriate when discussing torturers, as I explained
Data Protection Law Is a Big, Confusing Mess
This article is by Alison Cool on The New York Times. It
starts as follows:
There is a growing
realization that our data is under attack. From breaches at Equifax to Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of the
profile information of more than 87 million Facebook users, it seems as
if none of our personal data is safe. And more and more about us is
being captured, stored and processed by smart devices like thermostats,
baby monitors, WiFi-connected streetlights and traffic sensors.
I have no idea who Alison
Cool is, but if the above are his true ideas - ¨it seems as if none of our personal data is
safe¨ - he doesn´t know
much. According to William
Binney - who was one of the greatest experts
in the NSA - the NSA has been copying everything from everyone
everywhere (also from all Americans) since 2001 or 2002.
Therefore Cool´s ¨growing
realization that our data is under attack¨ may be true for some of the 2 billion
morons on Facebook (that steals at least 600 MB of ¨personal data¨ on
each and everyone of its members) but is utterly ridiculous
from a somewhat informed point of view.
Then again, there is one bit in his article that I quote, as a European
understands much of ¨the law¨ anyway, without being a lawyer,
as anyone who has ever tried to read some of the internet laws
will know, and besides, there still is hardly any law designed for the
internet that works or that is reasonable and rational.
the United States, people who are concerned are looking to Europe. They
see Europe’s “right to be forgotten,” by which citizens
can force companies to erase some of their personal data, as a step
toward regaining ownership of their online selves. And on May 25, the
European Union will bring into force the most sweeping regulation ever
of what can be done with people’s data.
law, the General Data Protection Regulation, will
give citizens greater control over their data while requiring those who
process personal data in the European Union or about its citizens to
take responsibility for its protection. The G.D.P.R. will give
Europeans the right to data portability (allowing people, for example,
to take their data from one social network to another) and the right
not to be subject to decisions based on automated data processing
(prohibiting, for example, the use of an algorithm to reject applicants
for jobs or loans). Advocates seem to believe that the new law could
replace a corporate-controlled internet with a digital democracy.
just one problem: No one understands the G.D.P.R.
Then again, I do know that the ¨G.D.P.R.¨ is a major fraud for the simple reason that
there should be NO ¨personal data¨ - your age, your face, your
income, your ideas, your values, your interests, your photographs, your
income and so on and so forth, including your porn and your videos -
that now are ALL known to both your
(that call themselves ¨national security¨) and to Facebook, Google,
Apple etc. - and that anyone with sufficient power or money can get, totally
unproblematically also, and since the last 15 years or so, and that
no one without power or money can get.
I think the internet is by far the best means to introduce neofascism
everywhere, and has been designed on purpose
to do so, although
those who designed it did not call their ideal society
¨neofascism¨ but - in the late 1960ies - ¨technotronic¨.
This is quoted from a Nederlog of May 3, 2018:
I think [the present form of the
internet] was already planned between
1967 and 1970 by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who then was a very high
DARPA official, who wrote between 1967 and 1970 these words,
which exactly correspond to what
the DARPA got with the introduction of the worldwide web, html, and
totally unencrypted emails.
idea of the
technotronic society seems to be under the auspices
Brezezinski, until recently a member of the
Staff of the State Department, and now Director
Research Institute of Communist Affairs at Columbia
The 'technotronic society' seems to be the exact
society of 'spontaneity' demanded by revolutionary
students, who Mr Brezezinskin evidently regards as
throw-backs, survivors of Romantic days, forlornly playing
And in 1970:
leaving the phase of spontaneity and is entering a more self-conscious state;
ceasing to be an industrial society, its is being shaped to an
ever-increasing extent by technology and electronics, and thus becoming the first
Mr Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite lovers
anarchy will seriously obstruct the new order.
In brief: It
was all planned
from the very start (or indeed before: in 1967 there
were no PCs as
will soon be possible to assert almost continuous
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to- date,
containing even personal information
personal behaviour of the citizen, in addition
customary data.' Moreover it will be possible
and plan to meet any uprisings in the future.
will even be able to forecast crises before the rioters
conscious of wanting them.
Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970
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."
Mark 70th Anniversary of Nakba After Israel Kills 61 & Wounds 2,700
Protesters in Gaza
This article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on
Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
I reported yesterday on this, when the number of killed
Palestinian civilians was 55 and the number of wounded Palestinian
civilians was 1200, and I take it the present numbers - 61 killed and
2,700 wounded - are probably correct. (The shooting took place the day
The Israeli military killed
at least 61 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded 2,700 more for protesting
Monday’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Israeli
occupation. It was the deadliest day for Palestinian protesters since
they launched the nonviolent Great March of Return on March 30.
Palestinian leaders are accusing the Israeli military of carrying out
war crimes during Monday’s crackdown. More protests and a general
strike across the Palestinian territories are planned for today. We get
an update from Gaza with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel
And I also said yesterday (and I correct the number today):
I agree these are war
crimes, though as I also said in the just quoted bit this seem to
be the form many modern wars take: The military kill
from the other party.
1200 over 2700 Palestinians were wounded or killed in one
day by Israeli
military. And yesterday I pointed out - see ¨On Gaza¨ - that in modern war in the
last 50 or 60 years it are mostly civilians
who are being killed by
the military of the opposing party
(which incidentally also happened in WW II).
Here is more (also with a correction by me of what seems a typo):
I think Mansour spoke
correctly, except that the actual numbers are higher. Here is Raj Shah
GOODMAN: On Monday, the
Palestinian permanent observer to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour,
condemned Israel’s actions.
GONZÁLEZ: Meanwhile, in Washington, White House Deputy Press
Secretary Raj Shah called the deaths of the Palestinians propaganda.
MANSOUR: Of course, this
massacre is taking place at the same time when the United States of
America, illegally and unilaterally and in a provocative way, is
opening its embassy. It is very, very tragic that they’re celebrating
an illegal action while Israel is killing and injuring thousands of
Palestinian civilians. This is the life of the Palestinian people. And
those who think that opening the embassy open doors to peace, let them
look at what is really happening in the Gaza Strip. Is killing 45
civilians and injuring 2,000 [
would be] helpful to
open doors for peace, or is it deepening the resentment and atmosphere
of hatred between people, instead of moving in the direction of peace?
STONE: Jared Kushner, in
his speech, pointed a finger at the Palestinians, saying they were
responsible for provoking violence. But given the fact that it’s only
Palestinians who are being killed, should Israel not shoulder some of
I think (as a
psychologist) that Shah is a sadist and total -
and as I said: sick -
mean: The Israeli Army shot 2700 civilians, killing over 60,
and Shah says these civilians are to blame?!
Well, as I said earlier, we believe Hamas bears the responsibility. But
this is a propaganda attempt. I mean, this is a gruesome and
unfortunate propaganda attempt. I think the Israeli government has
spent weeks trying to handle this without violence. And we find it very
This underlined by the following bit, that is the last that I quote
from this article:
We begin today’s show in Gaza, where we’re joined by Democracy Now!
correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. He’s a Puffin fellow at The Nation
I say. This is a
That’s right, Amy. I mean, we’re on the spot, just east of Gaza City,
where the most casualties took place. Twenty-seven people were killed
here, according to the Ministry of Health. And it was a scene of chaos,
in many ways, with burning tires, tear gas, young men throwing rocks
and these kites flying over. But you have to understand that the sniper
bullets don’t come in quick succession. It’s not a barrage of fire.
It’s methodical. It’s patient. It’s precise. You hear a shot, and
someone falls down. Then his bloodied body is carried away. You wait a
few minutes, you hear another shot, and another body falls. And that’s
how 1,350 people were shot yesterday—slowly, by Israel. And the death
toll now has gone to over 60. The number of injured is 2,700, over
of Democracy' author says Trump’s 'cultivation of dishonesty' strongly
reminiscent of Nazis
This article is by Chauncy DeVega on AlterNet and originally
on Salon. This is from near the beginning:
Well... I am pretty
certain that I know more about fascism than
DeVega does, although that
is not DeVega´s fault (who also is neither a philosopher or a
psychologist, as I am) and is mostly due to the fact that both of my
parents and one grandparent were in the - real - resistance against
Nazism in WW II, and that my father and his father were arrested by the
Nazis in August of 1941, and were then convicted as ¨political
terrorists¨ - by Dutch collaborating judges - to concentration
imprisonment, that my grandfather did not survive.
Donald Trump's behavior
is drawn from a familiar authoritarian playbook: threats of
violence against his political enemies, contempt for the rule of law,
incessant lies and corruption, militant nationalism, disdain for a free
press, and the portrayal of his supporters as "real citizens" over
and against lesser others. Trump has merely adapted those most vulgar
of political tactics to fit America's political culture.
But there are more sinister
echoes from one of the darkest moments in modern history in Donald
Trump's version of American fascism. Some people hide behind sophomoric
rules of internet culture, where to compare anything in American life
to the horrors of Hitler and the Nazi era is automatically dismissed.
That is functional surrender. Real resistance requires facing
America's present circumstances with open eyes.
One of the things I learned is that there are many different
ideas about what ¨fascism¨ means. Here is one survey of 21 different
definitions of the term ¨fascism" that I wrote a few years ago:
On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions. This considers 21 different
quotes, because most writers about fascism don´t seem to have clear
ideas of what definitions are) of the term ¨fascism¨.
And I think that the ¨familiar
that DeVega mentions in his first paragraph is sufficiently close to
quite a few of the different ¨definitions¨ of the term ¨fascism¨
to be called fascism.
Here is more by DeVega:
How is Donald Trump's
political style and agenda similar (or not) to that of the Nazis and
Adolf Hitler? What parallels and comparisons exist between the economic
and social crisis in German society and democracy during the 1920s and
1930s and the United States in the age of Trump? How did mainstream
right-wing German politicians -- like Republicans today -- enable
Hitler's rise to power? How are anxiety and guilt among the dominant
group regarding their treatment of minority groups used by right-wing
authoritarians? What lessons do that earlier era of "fake news" and
"the big lie" hold for America now?
In an effort to answer
those questions, I recently spoke with Benjamin
Carter Hett. He is a professor of history at Hunter College and the
City University of New York and author of the new book "The Death of
Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar
I think DeVega´s
questions are justified, but mostly not easily answered. The interview
with Benjamin Carter is fairly long. I´ll leave it to your interests
except for one bit:
Besides, the Jews were everywhere
in a rather small minority, while the Nazis were a dictatorship,
that also had abolished most of the laws that existed before them.
The whole idea of the NRA is totally ignorant and ridiculous,
it is not sick and malicious.
The NRA and other
gun obsessives love to argue that if the Jews in Germany had had guns,
they would have been able to stop Hitler. By implication, America
should never have serious gun control.
The idea that there
wouldn’t have been a Holocaust if there had not been gun control is so
historically illiterate on so many levels it’s hard to know where to
start. There were between 5.5 million and 6 million victims of
the Holocaust. Of those, only -- I hate to say "only" in this context,
but relatively speaking -- only a couple of hundred thousand were
German, meaning only a couple of hundred thousand lived in a country
where the Nazi laws were actually relevant. The great majority of
Holocaust victims were from Poland or the Soviet Union, so German laws
had nothing to do with them. So NRA types would have to take their
complaints and theories to Joseph Stalin.
Then you have to consider
the circumstances under which people died in the Holocaust. I actually
read a comment where someone actually said, “If people had guns when
the Nazis came to get them to put them on trains and send them to the
camps then they could have fought back.” Well, by no means did
everybody who was killed in the Holocaust die that way. Nearly half of
Holocaust victims died at the hands of mobile killing squads. These
were basically massive forces of police officers who swept through
areas like Poland and the Soviet Union just behind the German army as
And this is a recommended article.
Staggeringly Well-Funded Blowback Machine
This article is by Tom Engelhardt on Common Dreams and
originally on TomDispatch. This starts as follows:
Note from Tom:
Today’s post is an excerpt from my newest book, A
Nation Unmade by War, my personal portrait of our increasingly
mad world. It’s just hitting the bookstores, so do support TomDispatch
(and me) by picking up a copy.
As I was
putting the finishing touches on my new book, the Costs of War Project
at Brown University’s Watson Institute published an estimate of the
taxpayer dollars that will have gone into America’s war on terror from
September 12, 2001, through fiscal year 2018. That figure: a cool $5.6
trillion (including the future costs of caring for our war vets).
On average, that’s at least $23,386 per taxpayer.
Keep in mind that such
figures, however eye-popping, are only the dollar costs of our wars.
They don’t, for instance, include the psychic costs to the Americans
mangled in one way or another in those never-ending conflicts. They
don’t include the costs to this country’s infrastructure, which has
dollars flow copiously and in a remarkably -- in these years, almost
uniquely -- bipartisan fashion into what’s still laughably called
“national security.” That’s not, of course, what would make most of us
more secure, but what would make them -- the denizens of the national
security state -- ever more secure in Washington and elsewhere. We’re
talking about the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, the
U.S. nuclear complex, and the rest of that state-within-a-state,
including its many intelligence agencies and the warrior
corporations that have, by now, been fused into that vast and
vastly profitable interlocking structure.
indeed: I think this is mostly quite correct. (I do not know
about the $5.6 trillion, but I accept it as a fair estimate.)
is considerably more in the article, but I quote one more bit:
are - I think - all fair questions. And this is a recommended article.
If I could bring my parents
back from the dead right now, I know that this country in its present
state would boggle their minds. They wouldn’t recognize it. If I were
to tell them, for instance, that just three men -- Bill Gates, Jeff
Bezos, and Warren Buffett -- now
possess as much wealth as the bottom half of the US population, of
160 million Americans, they would never believe me.
How, for instance, could I
begin to explain to them the ways in which, in these years, money
flowed ever upward into the pockets of the immensely wealthy and then
down again into what became one-percent
elections that would finally ensconce a billionaire and his family
in the White House? How would I explain to them that, while leading
congressional Democrats and Republicans couldn’t say often enough that
this country was uniquely greater than any that ever existed, none of
them could find the funds -- some $5.6 trillion for starters --
necessary for our roads, dams, bridges, tunnels, and other crucial infrastructure?
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 (!!).