from July 27, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from July 27, 2018:
Plunge Shatters Faith in Tech Companies’ Invulnerability
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. More Than 900 Migrant Children Remain
Separated from Parents
3. What Makes Millennial Socialism Different
4. The Gray Lady Thinks Twice About Assange’s Prosecution
5. A World Designed by Playground Bullies
Plunge Shatters Faith in Tech Companies’ Invulnerability
This article is by
Matt Phillips on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
I say - and in fact I am very
glad because I hate and despise Facebook and its horrible owner Mark
Zuckerberg. Incidentally, if you want to know why look under "Facebook"
in the crisis
logs - and remember there are nine files of them, that list over 2000
had become an article of investor faith on Wall Street and in Silicon
Valley: Quarter after quarter, year after year, the world’s biggest
technology companies would keep raking in new users and ever-higher
revenue. And with that, their share prices would continue to march
upward, sloughing off any stumbles.
week, that myth was shattered. And investors responded Thursday by
hammering the stock of Facebook, one of the world’s most valuable
companies. Shares of the social media giant fell 19 percent, wiping out
roughly $120 billion of shareholder wealth, among the largest one-day
destruction of market value that a company has ever suffered.
Then again, if you are really interested, here is my first long
post about Facebook, from May 16, 2011: On the sham called
It only grew a lot worse since.
Here is more:
Incidentally, Facebook has
also - still - well over 2 billion members, and I take it only
minority of these over 2 billion members is capable or willing
their own sites in html.
dumped Facebook shares after the company reported disappointing
second-quarter earnings, in which the company warned of a sharp
slowdown in sales growth in coming quarters along with rising spending
on security and privacy enhancements.
And while I do not know the proportion not-capable :
also fear the proportion is considerably above 1.
Here is some contextual information:
This year alone
Apple is up some 15 percent; Alphabet has gained more than 20 percent;
Amazon has surged more than 50 percent; and Netflix is up nearly 90
stumble suggests that some of these stocks — as well as the broader
market — could be particularly vulnerable if their financial results
don’t live up to investor expectations.
Incidentally: (1) I use none of these
corporations and I do not want to: For me they are the
corporate faces of neofascism;
(2) "Alphabet" used to be the criminals
of Cambridge Analytica, so I don't know how much their present gains
are worth; and (3) it is obvious that the investors use only one
criterion: their own expected profits from (not) investing in
and don't care shit for moral considerations, such as that the
of Facebook all have enormous secret dossiers that contain much more
knowledge about them than they can recall themselves.
And here is some more contextual information:
I did not know
as I said: I like it. And this is a recommended article.
the sheer size of Facebook’s fall on Thursday became a focus for
investors. The decline in Facebook’s market value was roughly
equivalent to the entire value of some of the country’s best-known
companies, including McDonald’s, Nike and the industrial conglomerate
There are few examples of
single-day losses so large.
Than 900 Migrant Children Remain Separated from Parents
article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
It has been nine
weeks since the Trump administration sparked a national crisis by
forcibly separating more than 2,500 migrant children from their parents
at the U.S.-Mexico border. Most were seeking asylum from violence in
their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Instead,
the parents were charged in federal court with a crime for illegally
crossing the border, then held in jail and detention. The children,
some still breastfeeding, were sent to shelters around the country.
Today is the deadline federal District Judge Dana Sabraw set to reunite
these families. But the process has been chaotic, and the government
admits at least 900 children have yet to be reunited, and some 463
separated parents have been deported—even as their children remain in
U.S. detention centers. Officials say the parents voluntarily agreed to
leave their children behind. But in court papers filed Wednesday, the ACLU argued many parents say they were coerced or
misled into signing forms they could not read, and were confused about
what they were agreeing to. We speak to two immigration lawyers, Ofelia
Calderón and Carlos García. They are both representing and providing
pro bono assistance to parents separated from their children, some of
whom have still not been reunited by today’s court-imposed deadline.
I say! Well... if "the government admits at least 900 children
have yet to be reunited" this means that the government concedes that
roughly 1000/2500 = 2/5 children still remain kidnapped
remain in detention, in spite of being small children who
Also, I insist the 2500 children were kidnapped
by the US
government, even though the single other person who used this
(which is legal, and I think it totally applies) was
I also insist that the immigrants whose children were kidnapped have
been treated intentionally by the insane neofascist
Trump and his government as sub-humans.
Here is some more:
On Wednesday, CNN published audio of a mother pleading with
Judge Robert Powell. This is an excerpt.
I think Judge Powell
judged as if he is a neofascist as
well - and read my definition if you
disagree. I also note that he does not
seem to address the fact
that the U.S. government kidnapped
SEEKER: [translated] To
please give me an opportunity to remain here in this country. I want—I
need to save my life and the life of my son. I cannot go back to my
country, because over there the police, when I went to the police, they
did nothing to help me.
Having considered all the evidence, court finds you have not
established a significant possibility that you could establish
eligibility for asylum or withholding of removal under the immigration
laws of the United States.
Here is the last bit I quote from this article, which in fact is about
the intentional mismanagement
of the rights of immigrants or of the
addresses of the children they kidnapped:
Quite so, and this is a
strongly recommended article.
GOODMAN: Carlos García,
what does it mean when the government says hundreds of people are not
eligible to reunite with their children?
GARCÍA: Right. There is so much confusion about that. We don’t
know. As of Friday, I had—I was in touch with a couple of lawyers who
are litigating these lawsuits, and they had indicated that perhaps my
client had been identified as a person not eligible for unification. So
I was very worried. But the reality is that—who knows if that was true
or not, based on any kind of definition? Because we are not getting any
kind of information as to what that means. I wish we knew, so that
there was a way that we could address that, so that there was a way
that we could advocate for our clients, if indeed they were identified
as not eligible for reunification. But that’s a definition that the
government has not provided to us.
Makes Millennial Socialism Different
article is by Natasha Hakimi Zapata on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The Occupy movement,
British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders all
changed what the millennial generation thinks of as socialism—and made
win of New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez possible. At least,
that’s what Ben Judah argues in a recent piece for The
American Interest, in which he outlines the many differences
between the “old left” and the “new left” in the U.S. and the U.K
I did not know
again, this is also rather hard to establish for me, in part because I
have never been in the USA, and in part (and considerably more
important) because the histories of both "the “old left” and the “new left”" in the USA
have been quite different from the histories of the same in
Europe (and in Europe the the
“old left” are the
social democratic parties, which mostly went Blairite, that is,
completely corrupt since 2000, while there also were several
called the “new left” since the
In any case, the histories of the "left" - let's say - in the USA and
in Europe since 1900 have been rather different.
Here is some by Judah:
One major shift on
the left, Judah says, has been the coining of the terms “1 percent” and
“99 percent,” which he considers one of the most powerful
accomplishments of the Occupy movement, because they allowed a new kind
of revolution to seep into the imagination of young Americans. A
revolution of all classes uniting to fight the uber-rich, not with
violence but with the power of the masses; a revolution that Sanders in
the U.S. and Corbyn in the U.K. then solidified into grassroots
campaigns that gave hope to a new generation of kids saddled with
student debt and, soon enough, mortgages as they waded through job
markets ruled by 1-percenters who not only had questionable interest in
providing workers with a decent living but had politicians in their
pockets and spent years eroding hard-earned labor protections.
I agree more or less with
this. Here is more on "socialism" in the USA:
London School of
Economics professor David Graeber, one of Occupy’s organizers, tells
Judah that the fact that in 2016 more Americans under the age of 30
were enthusiastic about socialism than capitalism could have emerged
only from social movements. In Graeber’s words, “You won’t have seen
nothing, ever, nowhere, that would have had anything positive to say
about socialism on American television.”
Actually, I do not know
Graeber is correct, although he may be, and he is certainly right that
"socialism" in any of its - very many - forms has been
deemed negative on American television, indeed also from its
beginnings, in the early 1950ies.
This is also quite different from Europe, where there also are many
more political parties than just two (with any fair chance). In
there were, for one example, and to a lesser extent still are, large
social democratic parties that held or hold considerable power,
indeed they are not at all revolutionary in any sense.
And here Ben Judah gets quoted:
This is often the trickiest
thing for liberals to grasp: for millennial socialists, America does
not need a GOSPLAN,
a super powerful state, or central planning. What they believe it needs
is as much democracy as possible.
autonomism, corporate democracy, locally supervised nationalized
industries—not high-up, mandarin-allocated indicative planning. This is
millennial socialism: dreams of socially-owned Ubers and AirBnBs.
Well... in my
understanding of "socialism" this sounds more like anarchism (of which
there also are many different kinds). Then again, perhaps "democratic
socialism" is the better term than "socialism".
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Actually, I don't
they are "vastly different" and in fact I also do not
there is a widespread more or less proper understanding in the
USA of various political terms, such as "socialism", "democratic
socialism", "communism", "anarchism", to name some prominent ones.
There you have
it—progressive millennials want to seize control of powerful
institutions just as their predecessors did, but their ideas of how and
what to do with that power are vastly different, and, of course, could
not have been conceived of without those who fought and thought before
And of course, there is a minority of American intellectuals
understand all these terms more or less as the Europeans do. This is a
Gray Lady Thinks Twice About Assange’s Prosecution
is by Ray McGovern
on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
Well, lordy be. A
lawyer for The New York Times has figured out that prosecuting
WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange might gore the ox of The Gray Lady
Yes indeed - this seems
all quite correct to me. Here is some more:
The Times’s deputy general
counsel, David McCraw, told a group of judges on the West Coast on
Tuesday that such prosecution would be a gut punch to free speech,
according to Maria Dinzeo, writing for the Courthouse News Service.
Curiously, as of this writing,
McCraw’s words have found no mention in the Times itself. In recent
years, the newspaper has shown a marked proclivity to avoid printing
anything that might risk its front row seat at the government trough.
Stating the obvious, McCraw
noted that the “prosecution of him [Assange] would be a very, very bad
precedent for publishers … he’s sort of in a classic publisher’s
position and I think the law would have a very hard time drawing a
distinction between The New York Times and WikiLeaks.”
That’s because, for one thing,
the Times itself published many stories based on classified information
revealed by WikiLeaks and other sources. The paper decisively turned
against Assange once WikiLeaks published the DNC and Podesta emails.
McCraw went on to
emphasize that, “Assange should be afforded the same protections as a
traditional journalist.” The Times lawyer avoided criticizing what the
United Nations has branded — twice — the “arbitrary detention” of
Assange and his incommunicado, solitary confinement-like situation in
the Ecuador embassy in London since March. Multiple reports indicate
the new government of Ecuador will evict Assange into the hands of
I agree again. Here is
Ten years ago I
contended that The Gray Lady — like the rest of the Fourth Estate — was
moribund. More recently, I have been saying it is dead. I now stand
corrected. Rumors of its death have been exaggerated. But how does one
characterize its current state?
Well... I don't
New York Times, but so far I have never thought it was dead or
Let me borrow a memorable
phrase from philosopher Billy Crystal, playing Miracle Max in “The
Princess Bride,” while trying to bring the character Wesley back to
life. He is just “mostly dead,” Chrystal insisted.
And so it is with today’s
corporate media, with a tiny chance, now that The New York Times,
watching out for its own equities, might help Assange avoid prosecution
for practicing journalism. Actually, he has been accused so far of no
crime of any kind.
But McGraw was right and this is a recommended article.
World Designed by Playground Bullies
This article is by
Robert Koehler on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
As the week’s news slaps
against my consciousness like road slush, some fragments sting more
than others. For instance:
“According to the DOJ’s
court filing, parents who are not currently in the U.S. may not be
eligible for reunification with their children.”
I can’t quite move on with
my life after reading a sentence like this. A gouge of incredulity
lingers. How is such a cruelly stupid rule possible? What kind of
long-term ramification will it have on the entirety of the human race?
Well... I leave "the entirety of the human race" out of consideration, but I do say
(and did say above) what I think about the USA's government's policies
and of the judges who support it:
I think the USA's
government intentionally and illegally kidnapped more than 2500
sometimes extremely small children; I think this happens because the
leader of the government is solidly
insane (and I am a psychologist); I
think another reason this happens is because his government is
and I think judges who cooperate with this kidnapping are
neofascists or sadists.
Here is some more by
This of course is all
marginal news, mostly kept in the shadows by the corporate media, which
focuses on Russiagate and the Trump Follies, that is to say, on
political entertainment, us vs. them, neatly packaged and fed to
American news consumers as though it were their unending World Cup
tournament. And Hillary Clinton tweets:
“Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do
you know which team you play for?”
And another gouge of
incredulity lingers. Global politics is reduced to winning and losing,
our team vs. their team, which makes life a lot more convenient for the
powerful because it jettisons the hellish consequences of the game from
public awareness: the cholera and torture and such, which are the
regrettable side effects of confrontational politics.
I more or less agree
with Koehler, but would have put his point quite differently: I
all this differentiation between Good Us and Bad Them
is an excellent
example of both totalitarian
thinking and of totalitarian
although both these days are firmly denied by the sick
definition of "totalitarianism" (that seems copied from Brzezinski, who
lied: it does not mean what he says it means, and it never did).
Here is an attempt at
All of which adds up to a
con game much, much bigger than Donald Trump, who is basically a
malfunctioning cog in the machine. The “machine” is sometimes called
the Deep State, which Mike
Lofgren, the former Republican congressional aide who coined the
term, described as “a hybrid entity of public and private institutions
ruling the country” — that is to say, Wall Street and Silicon Valley in
league with the departments of Defense, State and Homeland Security,
along with the Justice and Treasury departments, the CIA and much more.
It’s America’s quiet, unofficial government, the military-industrial
complex holding hands with the prison- industrial complex. The money
just isn’t there for most social programs, but it’s there for war,
surveillance and incarceration.
I agree with Lofgren
that there is a Deep State, as I agreed with Eisenhower that
there is a military-industrial
complex but I agree both are a bit or rather vague, indeed
because the non-governmental partners in either tend to be
(or some of the individuals who head them) who are extremely secretive
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
I more or less agree, but
I can't agree with the very last bit, which I would have put as
The reality, however, as
Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens point out in their book Democracy in
America? (as quoted by Paul
Street), is that government policy “reflects the wishes of those
with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who
turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted
candidates for federal office.”
We’re living, I fear, in a world designed by playground bullies, with
institutions focused primarily on self-perpetuation and indifferent to
the harm they create. Rules matter. Values don’t.
Rules matter, but only if they conform to the neofascist
values of the
present American government. And indeed most members of the
such as Trump, Bolton and Pompeo seem born bullies. This is a
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 (!!).