from May 27, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 27, 2018:
1. Edward Snowden on Privacy in the Age of Trump and Facebook
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 Two House Democrats Defended Helping the GOP Weaken
3. The Silence of the Bugs
4. Reflections on Gina Haspel’s Confirmation
5. As New Privacy Rules Hit Europe, Google and Facebook Hit
Billion in Lawsuits
Snowden on Privacy in the Age of Trump and Facebook
article is by Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Exactly five years
ago this week, Edward Snowden absconded to Hong Kong with a trove of
documents detailing the extent of the U.S. government’s global and
domestic surveillance programs. He soon found himself in exile in
Russia and dubbed “the most wanted man in the world.” The Snowden leaks
started a new conversation about digital privacy and online security,
and even led to changes in the law. But more recently we’ve discovered
it isn’t just Big Government that poses a massive threat to our
privacy, but also Big Tech. Facebook, for example, exposed data on up
to 87 million Facebook users to a researcher who worked at Cambridge
Analytica, a political consultancy employed by the Trump campaign. The
issues of surveillance and privacy and mass data collection, not just
by the government but by Big Tech firms like Facebook, are still as
live and and as contentious as ever. On this week’s episode of
Deconstructed, Edward Snowden joins Mehdi Hasan from Moscow to discuss
surveillance, tools that can help protect people’s privacy, and the
likelihood of a Trump-Putin deal to extradite him.
Yes indeed, and this is a
fine idea. Here is more on Edward Snowden:
MH: In an instant
Edward Snowden became one of the most famous — and one of the most
wanted — people on earth. And in the years since, he hasn’t became any
less controversial, any less divisive. For some, like myself, he’s a
Daniel Ellsberg: Mr.
Snowden, whom I regard as an American hero, and a very great patriot.
Ron Paul: I mean
he’s done a great service because he’s telling the truth.
Senator Bernie Sanders:
Snowden played a very important role in educating the American people.
MH: For others,
he’s a villain who needs to be punished.
John Kerry: This is
a man who has done great damage to his country.
President Donald J.
Trump: I think he’s a total traitor and I would deal with him
John Bolton: My view
is that Snowden committed treason, he ought to be convicted of that and
then he ought to swing from a tall oak tree.
As to John Bolton: He
is a sick sadistic
who evidently is and has been out to kill
millions because this pleases his sick sadism -
and I am a
psychologist. Also, about Donald Trump: I am saying now since 2016 - it
seems by now with over 70,000 psychologists and psychiatrists - that he
is a madman and a neofascist.
I am sorry, but that is
simply what I think. Here is more on and by Edward Snowden:
So I started off by asking
Edward Snowden: “Is privacy dead?”
ES: No, and I think
this is the thing that is really taken out of context by politicians
and all of these corporate powers that are working to use that as a
justification to extend and further the abuses that we’ve seen in the
last decade or so. When you look at the polling and all of these
different issues and you ask young people, particularly, you know: Do
you care about privacy? They actually seem to care more than older
generations because this is affects their lives everyday. They
understand what it means to make a mistake, have someone with a
smartphone in the room and then have it haunt you for the rest of your
time in high school or college or whatever.
There is this feeling of
powerlessness that’s surrounding all of us every day on this issue,
because we see that we are being abused. People openly admit that
they’re abusing us. You know, Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress is
talking about this quite unashamedly.
Mark Zuckerberg: So
for example the messages that people send is something that we collect
in order to operate the service.
I more or less agree
Snowden, but I like to rephrase the issue - for a moment - with
reference to the introduction of cars in the USA and elsewhere, over a
100 years ago:
At that time at most 1 in
who wrote about cars, their possible uses, and their dangers had any
decent idea about these subjects. Moreover, while it was then possible,
through several years of private studies, to get the requisite amount
of knowledge, very few did so.
When talking about privacy
and computers, the numbers - I think - approximates these:
At most 1 in a 1000
about computers, computing, the internet and the theft of - literally
billions upon billions of private mails, was somewhat adequately
informed, and for the other 999 it will take years and years of serious
studying to understand what is really happening, and very
few have the
brains and the persistence to do so.
And therefore a sick and
degenerate billion-fold thief of private data like the sadofascist
terrorist thief Suckerbug from the utterly sick and sadistic
can still lie as he please while not being contradicted by
anyone: Very few understand what he is talking about.
Here is more on the sadist
Suckerbug and his sadofascistic Fuckbook:
Quite so: Suckerbug is
explicitly stealing billions of private
mails to earn his own billions,
and he does so and can do so because there still is no adequate law
any kind - really informed, really practicable - that can be
this megacriminal sadofascistic thiefs of billions of emails, of
photographs and of almost everything his Fuckbook can grab, in almost
MH: That exchange
between Mark Zuckerberg and Republican Senator Roger Wicker caught
Edward Snowden’s eye. He even tweeted about it at the time, saying,
“and they call me a criminal.”
ES: I’m not saying that
he’s violated a law in terms of statute, I’m saying that he’s violated
the values, the very understanding of what it means to be part of
American society. Right? This is nakedly exploitative (...)
Here is the last bit that I quote from this fine interview:
MZ: We are here to
build things that bring people together.
ES: When you say at
Facebook, you know: We’re only collecting this, we’re only collecting
that, you’re a part of our Facebook family.
MZ: The vast
majority of what happens on these services is people getting closer to
the people they care about, even when time or distance get in the way.
ES: And at the same
time, he’s spying on what you do, right? Not just out at the block
party — everything that they could get access to on your phone
they were stealing and they weren’t saying: “Are you sure you want to
send this to Facebook?” They were just taking it.
Precisely. And Fuckbook
is a vastly criminal thief of the private and personal data
of at least two billion computer morons, of which 99%
even write decent html. And this is a strongly recommended
article, in which there is much more than I quoted.
Two House Democrats Defended Helping the GOP Weaken Dodd-Frank
article is by Lee Fang on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. And as to the ¨shock to some observers¨: I knew that the GOP these days, in so far as the
Senate and the House are concerned, are simply a neofascistic
made up of rich liars
but I now have extended the same
argument to the Democrats: They are rich liars and deceivers who vote
only for ¨laws¨ that pay them. And these 50 Democrats are sick and
lying sadofascistic betrayers of all decencies and honesties.
Legislators from both
parties came together this week to put the finishing touches on a
sweeping measure to weaken bank regulations put in place to respond to
the 2008 financial crisis.
In a shock to some
observers, 33 House
Democrats and 17 Senate
Democrats ultimately joined with nearly every Republican to send the
bill to President Donald Trump’s desk. Only one GOP legislator, Rep.
Walter Jones, R-N.C., voted against it. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., a
co-author of the bill, stood
next to Trump at the signing ceremony on Thursday.
Here is more on this utterly sick neofascistic
The repeal bill was a
major priority for industry. As The Intercept has reported, the bill
loosens an array of regulations, including reporting requirements
used to counter racial discrimination in lending practices. The
bill also crucially shrank the amount of capital reserve banks
must maintain and raised the threshold at which banks are required
to comply with heightened risk-management regulations — all of it with
the consequence of introducing more risk into the system.
The House Democrats who backed the bill are broadly a coalition of New
Democrats and Blue Dogs, who are self-consciously pro-business, and
members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who have been the target of
focused lobbying campaigns by Wall Street.
Quite so - and
don´t care whether you are black or white; I care
that you betrayed
your voters in your own self interest.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
The banking lobby mobilized
scores of lobbyists to influence the vote. As we’ve reported,
bankers mobilized public support for the bill through targeted
advertising, letter writing, and a concentrated lobby effort designed
to sway moderate Democrats.
In one unusual twist, the
American Bankers Association decided to use a 501(c)(4) nonprofit to
air a campaign-style
television advertisement in support of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., one of
the leading sponsors of the repeal measure, who is facing a tough
re-election this year. The decision to use such a nonprofit to air the
ad conceals the source of the funding, a strategy commonly referred to
as “dark money.”
I say. Well... this
utter betrayal of their voters´ interests for their self
finally - converted me to the position that (i) the USA under Trump
the NUSA: the Neofascist
United States of America, because (ii) almost
none of the Senators and House members of either main party is honest
or decent: all vote for their own financial interests, and mostly quite
regardless of their voters. And this is a recommended article.
Silence of the Bugs
article is by Curt Stager (professor of natural sciences) on The New
York Times. It starts as follows:
years after Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” warned of bird die-offs
from pesticides, a new biocrisis may be emerging. A study published last fall
documented a 76 percent decline in the total seasonal biomass of flying
insects netted at 63 locations in Germany over the last three decades.
Losses in midsummer, when these insects are most numerous, exceeded 80
alarming discovery, made by mostly amateur naturalists who make up
the volunteer-run Entomological Society Krefeld, raised an obvious
question: Was this happening elsewhere? Unfortunately, that question is
hard to answer because of another problem: a global decline of field
naturalists who study these phenomena.
I say!! Well... I have been somewhat regularly writing
on Nederlog about the fact that there are
less and less bees, which
threatens every human being, but what is reported by Stager
Then again, as Stager says, the so-called ¨academic
scientists¨ who are supposed to study these real facts, don´t
anymore (in vast majority), because (i) reporting on these
facts will not get them headlines or grants (which is what the
majority of ¨academic
scientists¨ compete for), and besides (ii) the vast majority of the
¨academic scientists¨ who are supposed to
study these facts don´t study
these facts, because that would mean they have to leave their desks and
we in the midst of a global insect Armageddon that most of us have
failed to notice? Here’s another data point: A decades-long decline in
plant-pollinating hawk moths has been reported in the Northeast, but
its causes and consequences are uncertain because we know so little
about the ecology of these insects. In days past, compiling such
information would have made a respectable life’s work for a Linnaeus,
Humboldt or Darwin. Now such creatures are often ignored because
studying them seems unlikely to generate publications, headlines or
grants that provide academics with tenure and prestige.
I said. And here is the last bit that I quote from this - quite
frightening - article:
widely reported decline of honeybees in the United States
pales in comparison with the drop-off of bugs in Germany, if not in
scale, then in the loss of biodiversity. Insects represent the vast
majority of all animal species. Because they are pollinators and a
vital part of the food chain, their absence would strike deep at the
roots of life on earth.
a lake scientist, and my colleagues and I have been struggling to
explain our own mystery: a restructuring of plankton communities in
lakes worldwide in recent decades, which we’ve documented by examining
sediment cores extracted from lake bottoms. This could signal problems
for water quality, fisheries or other aspects of lake ecology. Had we
not taken the core samples, the geographic scale of this change might
remain undetected, because funding and rigorous field monitoring of
plankton composition in lakes has often been lacking.
So in brief the lessons are these:
(i) there may be a
global insect Armaggedon, like the
one that has been demonstrated for bees, going on in nature, but (ii)
there are ever fewer and fewer real
scientists who study this, in
considerable part (iii) because real scientists know their careers
best served from their desks in cities, and also (iv) because real scientists know there
little money and little interest in studying the decline of insects.
This is a strongly recommended article.
on Gina Haspel’s Confirmation
article is by Robert Crawford on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
It is appalling that the
Senate would approve for CIA Director someone who was directly involved
in carrying out torture. Haspel should have been disqualified from the
beginning, no matter what she told the Senators during and after her
confirmation hearing. Despite crucial information held back by
the CIA, Senators had sufficient knowledge for an informed decision.
The majority, which included six Democrats, chose to ignore what they
Torture is a war crime. The
Senate is now on record for approving a war criminal to run an agency
with a long record of engaging in unlawful acts.
First, there is a
long-standing struggle within the national security state over the use
of violence. On one side are those who promote violence as the most
effective means for extending or defending U.S. global dominance.
On the other side are those who, while regarding the use of force
as a legitimate way to project power, would impose legal and democratic
limits on its use. Haspel's confirmation, along with John Bolton’s
appointment as national security advisor and Mike Pompeo’s ascendency
to Secretary of State, is a clear victory for those promoting
unrestrained violence. Trump has now assembled a war cabinet that
is for the most part unopposed.
Yes, I quite
although I would have added that those who are for torture in the
are quite sick (and sadists,
in my psychologists´ convictions)
according to the vast majority of politicians and lawyers outside the
USA. And besides, I regard Haspel, Pompeo and Bolton as evident
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Quite so, again,
addition that I cannot take any paper
serious that was supposed to
argue against Haspel´s nomination as CIA director, but that did intentionally
repress even using the word ¨torture¨. And this means in
fact that if this is ¨support¨ of ¨many of the nation's most important media
reject it as deceptions
But this is a recommended article.
It is also important to
note that many of the nation's most important media institutions
editorialized strongly against Haspel or published opinion editorials
critical of her nomination. Yet, even among critical media
commentators, many continued to avoid the "torture" word or did not
refer to the CIA’s "torture program;" and fewer still mentioned the
entire CIA program: rendition, detention, and interrogation--or as I
think many readers might call it: kidnapping, clandestinely and
brutally transporting prisoners, arbitrary, secret and unlawful
detention, and torture. Few journalists took the opportunity to
review and educate the public about the program’s criminality or how
the law was manipulated to provide cover.
New Privacy Rules Hit Europe, Google and Facebook Hit With $8.8 Billion
article is by Jake Johnson and Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It
starts as follows:
Accusing Facebook, Google,
WhatsApp, and Instagram of "intentionally" violating Europe's strict
new privacy rules that officially went into effect on Friday, Austrian
lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems filed
four lawsuits against the
tech companies arguing they are still "coercing
users into sharing personal data" despite rolling out new policies
ostensibly aimed at complying with the new regulations.
Titled the General Data
Protection Regulation (GDPR), the new rules require companies to
explicitly and clearly request consent from users before mining their
data, and Schrems argues in his complaints—which seek fines
totaling $8.8 billion—that Google, Facebook, and the Facebook-owned
Instagram and WhatsApp are still utilizing "forced consent" strategies
to extract users' data when "the law requires that users be given a
free choice unless a consent is strictly necessary for provision of the
service," TechCrunch explains.
I say! I knew something
about Max Schrems,
but not this and I like it. And yes, Schrems is quite
right when he
accuses ¨Google, Facebook,
and the Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp¨ as still using ¨"forced consent" strategies to extract users'
data when "the
law requires that users be given a free choice¨. Precisely!
Here is more:
simple: Anything strictly necessary for a service does not need consent
boxes anymore. For everything else users must have a real choice to say
'yes' or 'no,'" Schrems wrote in a statement. "Facebook has even
blocked accounts of users who have not given consent. In the end users
only had the choice to delete the account or hit the
'agree'-button—that's not a free choice."
Facebook—which is currently embroiled in international controversy
following the Cambridge
Analytica scandal—insists that its new policies are in compliance
with Europe's new regulatory framework, Schrems argues that Facebook
and Google aren't even attempting to follow the new law.
totally know that it's going to be a violation, they don't even try to
hide it," Schrems told
the Financial Times.
Quite so - and in case
are using Google or Facebook, you should know that - in my
you are using sick, sadistic and neofascistic services, that are out to
deceive each and any of their users in their - still - constant
steal everything from their users.
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 (!!).