from May 22, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
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 22, 2018:
1. Bankers Hate the Volcker Rule. Now, It Could Be Watered
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. How the President Could Be Re-Elected
3. "Evil Is Fine Now": Google Ditches "Don't Be Evil" in
Company Code of
4. Media Ignore Government Influence on Facebook’s Plan to
5. Supreme Court Makes It Harder for Workers to Fight Back
Hate the Volcker Rule. Now, It Could Be Watered Down.
article is by Emily Flitter and Alan Rappeport on The New York Times.
It starts as follows:
was one of the most significant actions by the federal government to
prevent a repeat of the financial crisis.
Volcker Rule, named for the former chairman of the Federal Reserve and
signed into law, prohibited banks from making their own risky bets with
their customers’ deposits. Banks loathed the rule and Republicans vowed
to undo it.
a decade after the global financial meltdown, banks are on the brink of
realizing their dream. The Fed and other federal banking regulators are
poised to soften the Volcker Rule, making it easier for giant banks to
engage in a wider range of trading that can be highly profitable, but
also very risky.
This is ¨reporting¨ by the NYT, which is the
probable explanation for the fact that the writers are not very
clear that prohibiting ¨banks
from making their own risky bets with their customers’ deposits¨ is and was a form of clear theft
by the banks from their customers - which their customers would not
feel if the banks won their bets, but which also might mean the banks
lost their customers´ money.
Here is some more:
changes, which are expected to be proposed later this month, are
emblematic of the larger deregulatory effort underway in Washington.
week, Congress is expected to take a significant step toward rolling
back parts of the Dodd-Frank law, with the House scheduled to vote
Tuesday on a bill that would allow thousands of small and midsize banks
to avoid tougher oversight. Similar bipartisan legislation passed the
Senate earlier this year, clearing a path for President Trump to sign
the bill into law.
And here is the last bit that I quote from this fairly
the real action is at the financial regulatory agencies, like the Fed
and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which have broad
powers over the banking system. The agencies are now largely run by
Trump appointees who are sympathetic to Wall Street institutions’
longstanding complaints that they have been hurt by overzealous
regulations written after the financial crisis.
All of ¨Wall
Street institutions’ longstanding complaints that they have been hurt
by overzealous regulations¨
were sick sadistic
In the last 40 years no one made
more than the rich bankers, and they made so much more than before
because the rich have been systematically helped by the rich
Anyway... the real news appears to be that if
you are not rich and live in the USA you will be
screwed by the rich, and you probably have been since 1980.
(But the NYT will not say so.)
the President Could Be Re-Elected
article is by Robert Reich on Truthdig. It starts as follows - and
incidentally, I can´t read Reich´s site anymore, for this opens
with a command that you have to open your computer to
Anyway, here is Reich-on-Truthdig:
Trump’s strategy for
keeping power is to build up his coalition of America’s white working
class and the nation’s ownership class.
It’s a curious coalition,
to say the least. But if Democrats don’t respond to it, it could
protect Trump from impeachment and even re-elect him. It just might
create a permanent Republican majority around an axis of white
resentment and great wealth.
Two decades ago, Democrats
and Republicans competed over the middle class. They battled over
soccer moms and suburban “swing” voters.
Since then the middle class
has shrunk while the working class has grown, and vast wealth has been
accumulated by a comparative few who own a large portion of America.
Some of their wealth has taken over American politics.
Yes indeed. Here is
Since becoming president,
Trump has sought to reward both sides of this coalition – tossing
boatloads of money to the ownership class, and red meat to the white
One boatload is the
corporate and individual tax cut, of which America’s richest 1 percent
will take home an estimated 82
percent by 2027, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Another boatload is coming
from government itself, which Trump has filled with lobbyists who are
letting large corporations do whatever they want – using public lands,
polluting, defrauding consumers and investors, even employing children
– in order to push profits even higher.
Trump’s red meat for the
white working class is initiatives and tirades against unauthorized
immigrants and foreign traders – as if they’re responsible for the
working class’s lost ground – and other symbolic gestures of economic
populism, along with episodic racist outbursts, and support for guns
Yes indeed. If you are
convinced by Trump, that is your problem. I am not, but
do not belong to the American ¨white working class¨. Then again, Reich may be correct that Trump may get
re-elected, and indeed because he succeeds in misleading
considerable parts of ¨the
white working class¨.
Here is more on Trump:
Trump doesn’t want his base
to know that the only way they can permanently become better off is by
reining in the ownership class.
He doesn’t want them to
recall that the ownership class is largely responsible for hollowing
out the middle class. For decades the captains of American industry,
backed by the nation’s biggest investors, have squeezed payrolls by
outsourcing abroad, cutting or eliminating job benefits, busting
unions, and shifting to part-time and contract work.
He’d rather they didn’t see
that corporate profits – flowing into higher executive pay and higher
share prices – have constituted a steadily larger portion of economy,
while wages have been a steadily lower portion. Most economic gains
have gone to the top. We have had socialism for the rich and harsher
capitalism for everyone else.
Yes indeed. And this is
a recommended article.
Is Fine Now": Google Ditches "Don't Be Evil" in Company Code of Conduct
article is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Is Google finally
embracing its evil side?
The company has reportedly
stripped from its employee code of conduct a section outlining its
longtime unofficial motto, "Don't be evil," provoking a swift reaction
on social media: "File
under: 'Evil is fine now.'" "Glad
this question has been settled!" "Google
has finally done what was inevitable—abandoned informal commitment to
its founding principle."
When the company
restructured in 2015, Alphabet—Google's new parent company—was widely
condemned for its watered down replacement, "Do the right thing,"
but Google's maintained the "Don't be evil" language in its official
code of conduct. That all changed "sometime in late April or early
May," Gizmodo reported
Friday, after reviewing archives on the Wayback Machine.
Well... has Google ever
been good? I don´t think so, and all of this is propaganda as
well. Here is some more:
I am sorry, but I do not
think Google is "evil" (between
quotes): I think it is definitely and darkly evil, and is
its owners want to be evil, for this makes them the
Critics of Google have long
used the phrase as a rallying cry to challenge practices and policies
that strike them as "evil," from concerns
about what the company does with users' personal data to its increasing
contract [working] with the U.S. military.
Invoking the longtime motto, a
dozen employees recently resigned
and some 4,000 have signed on to a petition demanding that Google
immediately halt its once-secret work on drones for the Pentagon, which
in a pair of reports published earlier this year.
There is also this:
consequences for small and startup businesses in the tech industry,
there's also an impact on Google users, and internet users more
broadly. As Reback put it: "People tell their search engines things
they wouldn't even tell their wives. I mean, it's a very powerful and
yet very intimate technology. And that gives the company that controls
it a mind-boggling degree of control over our entire society."
Yes indeed. But most of
its users seem not to care for the enormous powers
Google has, probably because they really don´t understand. To
the few who do, I recommend DuckDuckGo.
Ignore Government Influence on Facebook’s Plan to Fight Government
article is by Adam Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Thursday it was partnering with DC think tank the Atlantic Council to
“monitor for misinformation and foreign interference.” The details of
the plan are vague, but Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research
Lab wrote in a non-bylined Medium post (5/17/18)
that the goal was to design tools “to bring us closer together” instead
of “driving us further apart.” Whatever that means, exactly.
Yes, that ¨goal¨ is pure
which is all you - ¨dumb fucks¨, according to Zuckerberg - can
expect from the
sick and degenerate Facebook.
Here is more on the Atlantic Council´s (Facebook´s partner) sick
generic-sounding name and “nonpartisan” label, the Atlantic Council is
associated with very particular interests. It’s funded by
the US Department of State and the US Navy, Army and Air Force, along
with NATO, various foreign powers and major Western corporations,
including weapons contractors and oil companies. The Atlantic Council
is dead center in what former President Obama’s deputy national
security advisor Ben Rhodes called
“the blob”—Washington’s bipartisan foreign-policy consensus. While
there is some diversity of opinion within the Atlantic Council, it is
within a very limited pro-Western ideological framework—a framework
that debates how much and where US military and soft power influence
should be wielded, not if it should in the first place.
I think that is all
correct. Here is more:
“counter-espionage” is another name for espionage, “counter-
propaganda” efforts are just propaganda efforts. How exactly will the
Atlantic Council define “misinformation” and “disinformation,” and what
“foreign interference” will merit the highest priority? Facebook
hasn’t released details of the partnership, and the Council’s Medium
post was heavy on high-minded platitudes about being “more free and
more fair,” but light on methodology.
Well... I add that
¨counter-terrorism¨ should be the name for what the NSA
etc. do, except
that it isn´t, for that would be too clear. As to what ¨the Atlantic Council¨ will define as ¨“misinformation” and “disinformation”¨: it will very probably never say.
But I am
sure that anybody who trusts Facebook or its associates (like Cambridge
Analytica) will be thoroughly screwed: If you trust Facebook,
then you are a ¨dumb fuck¨, according to Zuckerberg.
This is a recommended article.
Court Makes It Harder for Workers to Fight Back
article is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
The U.S. Supreme Court on
Monday dealt a blow to worker rights, saying that employers can bar
their employees from banding together to challenge workplace abuses
including wage theft and sexual
MSNBC host and
legal analyst Ari Melber summed up the 5-4
decision (pdf) by tweeting:
"Supreme Court rules that you have the right to your day in court,
unless a corporation effectively makes you give up that right."
Political activist Zephyr
Teachout, meanwhile, said
the decision "is terrible news for workers in America," as it makes "it
harder for employees to get a fair hearing when they are screwed."
Yes, and I think Zephyr
Teachout was quite right. Here is more:
Conservative Justice Neil
Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, finding that "Congress has
instructed that arbitration agreements like those before us must be
enforced as written." According
to Steve Vladeck, a CNN contributor and professor of law
at the University of Texas School of Law, "Not only is [Gorsuch]
endorsing the conservative justices' controversial approach to
arbitration clauses, but he's taking it an important step further by
extending that reasoning to employment agreements, as well."
Yes, I am afraid
Vladeck saw this correctly. Here is the last bit I quote from this
But alas, Ginsburg spoke
for the minority. This is a recommended article.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
wrote the dissenting opinion, and read a summary of her dissent
aloud—"something justices do only rarely to signify their objections," USA
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 (!!).