from July 28, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 28, 2018:
1. Double Negative: Trump, Putin, and the
Destruction of Political
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. Noam Chomsky on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Spectacular”
3. “Brutal and Sadistic”: Noam Chomsky on Family Separation
4. Living in a World Bereft of Privacy
5. Why Americans Need to Defend Julian Assange’s Freedom
Negative: Trump, Putin, and the Destruction of Political Intelligence
This article is by
Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept. This starts with the following
I gave you the complete
introduction so that you can see what you miss. In fact, I quote only
three bits from the interview Scahill had with Masha Gessen.
There has been a lot of
action the past two weeks relating to the Trump-Russia saga, but does
any of it matter? This week on Intercepted: Russian-American journalist
Masha Gessen analyzes the fallout from the Trump-Putin summit, what
Putin actually wants from Trump, and the indictment of 12 Russian GRU
officers. The Intercept’s Micah Lee offers a technical analysis of
special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of the Russian intelligence
operatives who the U.S. Justice Department alleges cyberattacked the
Democrats and election software providers. Jeremy argues that Trump is
sort of right about stripping security clearances from former senior
CIA officials, but for all the wrong reasons. NYU professor Nikhil Pal
Singh talks about the ahistorical analogies used to describe Trump and
l’affaire Russia, the “far more consequential threats to U.S.
democracy” than what is on cable news 24/7. Experimental
electronic musician Oneohtrix Point Never discusses his Russian roots,
Steve Bannon’s favorite book, and the inspiration for his cinematically
dystopian album, “Age Of.”
Here is the first bit, which is in fact by Scahill and about former CIA
or NSA persons like Hayden and Clapper:
Privatizing your supposedly national service, service that is
constantly held up with no sense of irony or hypocrisy as evidence of
the impeccable character of the pundit or corporate board member who is
running their mouth off, that’s legalized corruption and it should be
abolished — not for political reasons, not because these people
are speaking publicly about Donald Trump, but because they are using
their previous positions for private agendas, whether that be lucrative
consulting gigs or to engage in historical revisionism in an effort to
mislead the public into trusting the most dangerous institutions in our
society. Or worse: viewing these people, because they were former
senior CIA people, as above criticism or that they represent the very
definition of patriotism and to oppose them makes you a traitor. It
would be one thing if these people were being challenged when they go
on TV or investigated, called out, exposed as part of their cushy lives
in the private sector. But that never happens — ever. Instead,
this has been a literal and political cash cow, for people, some of
whom are responsible for some of the worst crimes committed in the name
of the United States when they were doing their official jobs. Allowing
these people now to engage in what amounts to insider trading with the
most sensitive information possessed by the United States while never
holding them accountable for their tenure while they were in office is
undemocratic and worse.
It is worse
because it is
essentially and fundamentally totalitarian
- in my and Orwell's sense,
but not at all in the sense of Zbigniew
Brzezinski who was a
mate of Hayden and Clapper.
According to Brzezinski these cannot
possibly be totalitarian because (i)
they served the strongest force for Democracy in the world (the USA),
and because (ii) nothing and no one ever can be totalitarian,
according to the present utterly sick Wikipedia, unless
she is an inhabitant of a totalitarian country like the Soviet Union or
Hitler's Germany, and more specifically because (iii) ONLY
and not persons, nor plans, nor policies, nor
propaganda, nor values, nor ideals ever can be totalitarian.
I think and indeed I know all of that is utter and total bullshit,
but then again that is "your" ("completely free"!) Wikipedia.
Then again, I totally agree with Scahill and indeed with Kiriakou.
And here is Masha
Gessen on "the news" in Russia:
JS: So how
is it covered in the Russian News Service then?
MG: It’s a
complicated thing to describe, not because the Russian media aren’t a
monolith, which there are, you know a minute almost the entirety of
Russian media are controlled by the state. Broadcast messages that are
literally written in the Kremlin, and passed down to the news services,
which is how most Russians get their news.
But that’s not the hard
part to explain. The hard part to explain is why we would see, for
example, in a news entertainment programs actually comment that Trump
appears to be Putin’s agent. I’m having a hard time sort of trying to
figure out how to explain it to an American audience, because there’s a
kind of postmodern propaganda twist to it. Right? It’s like we are
laughing about this because it is absurd on the face of it, and yet we
are rebroadcasting it because it’s so incredibly flattering. And no, we
don’t expect you to believe it, but still it’s the only available
reality so you do believe it. That kind of thing. Right? But it’s, you
know, it’s a message of power. It’s like Russia has never been more
powerful, not even during the Soviet period did it have an American
president in his pocket.
I take it - of course -
that Gessen is right about how propaganda and
"information" are at
present being downloaded on the Russians, but I like the
reference to postmodernism
- which is essentially the thesis that there is no truth
whatsoever: absolutely everything is a story, and there
simply are no
that would or could or do confirm or infirm these
stories - because I know a great lot about it and spent over 40
battling with it, which is a battle I lost because all
politicians combine personal greed and utterly dishonest
totally unashamed totalitarianism
(but not in Brzezinski + the
I first met postmodernism
in August of 1978, that is almost 40 years ago, in the
hall of the Maagdenhuis in Amsterdam, when the academic year 1978-1979
was officially opened by the postmodern neofascist
Brandt, who literally asserted (in translation) that
He did this as "a
scientist" (well... a historian), opening an institution dedicated to science,
and what he asserted amounted to the thesis that absolutely
everything one hears or reads from absolutely everyone, including all
scientists, is only propaganda.
- "Everybody knows
that truth does NOT exist"
And his point of view was the ideological
basis of everything that happened in the
"University" of Amsterdam, and
certainly between 1978 and 1995,
although the reasons for that had
little to do with totalitarianism as such, but with the fact that in
1971 (in fear of Parisian revolts as in 1968 n France) effectively
all Dutch universities had been handed over effectively to the students,
while the students who had the power from 1978 till 1983 were mostly quasi-communists
(they said they were communists
and they were members
of the Dutch Communist Party, but either they were real
communists and my parents and grandparents who had been heroic in WW II
and been communists for 40 years then were not communists at
all but utter frauds, or else the situation was completely the
inverse, as I think it is and was).
And from 1983 till 1995 the leadership in the Dutch Universities all
for the same reason, while I - who like my ex has
now 40 years of a "serious chronic
disease" - was put away,
systematically also, by the quasi-communists from the ASVA as "a
fascist" and (in 1988) as "a terrorist, a terrorist, a
because I had dared to criticize
the uttely incompetent academic
parasites who were supposed to teach me philosophy but who lied, and
lied and lied.
Also, I have been repeating this story for 40 years now; I have
that 95% of the students much rather have the easiest M.A.'s
and my own view is that totalitarianism,
and lying and propaganda
have won, especially with universal surveillance of
by the secret services, and that they only
can be shoved aside after a
massive collapse of the American economy.
You probably disagree, but you certainly did not have my 40+
being called "a dirty fascist" and "a terrorist" by otherwise
postmodernistically nice (and quite stupid) academics.
Also, having myself an IQ much above 130, I say that the only
capable of working out the propaganda and
exposed to daily by their TVs and their papers need an IQ of 130 or
higher, which means that they must belong to the brightest 2%.
Anyway... back to Scahill and Gessen:
know, Masha, one of my biggest fears when I sort of try to step back
which I feel like we all need to do pretty regularly in this context
and look at like what are the big ramifications of the way we are
talking about the Trump presidency, and Trump-Russia so to speak in
this moment in time? And I think that the liberal kind of lionization
of the FBI, the CIA, the valiant intelligence community, it’s like the
Support the Troops line on, you know, massive steroids. And I think
it’s going to have far-reaching implications because so many prominent
liberals, Democrats and others have gone all in with endorsing the
FBI/CIA/NSA as sort of the front that’s keeping us safe from the
Soviets taking over America. And I am concerned that that is an on ramp
to embracing a much more authoritarian state in the United States.
MG: I agree
I agree with both - and
I really have tried, indeed for over 40 years, but one of my
main conclusions is that to be able to defend yourself from
totalitarian propaganda is to have an IQ that 49 out of 50 miss.
sorry if this is pessimistic,
but this is the result of 40 years of
trying and 40 years of failing.
Chomsky on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Spectacular” Victory
article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
The 2018 midterm
election season has been roiled by the internal divisions between the
Democratic Party’s growing progressive base and the more conservative
party establishment. In New York City, this division came to a head
with the most shocking upset of the election season so far, when
28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handily defeated 10-term incumbent
Representative Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House.
Ocasio-Cortez ran a progressive grassroots campaign as a Democratic
Socialist advocating for “Medicare for All” and the abolition of ICE. For more on her victory and what it means for
the Democratic Party, we speak with Noam Chomsky, world-renowned
political dissident, linguist and author.
I have written about
Octavio-Cortez before, and repeatedly. Here is Noam Chomsky:
Well, I think there’s—her victory was a quite spectacular and
significant event. I think what it points to is a split in the
Democratic Party between the—roughly speaking, between the popular base
and the party managers. The popular base is increasingly, essentially,
social democratic, following, pursuing the—concerned with the kinds of
progressive objectives that she outlined in those—in her remarks, which
should be directed not only to expanding the electorate but to the
general working-class, poor population of the world, of the
middle-class population of the country, for whom these ideals are quite
significant. They can be brought to that. That’s one part of the party.
The other part of the party is the donor-oriented, managerial part of
the New Democrats, so-called, the Clintonite Democrats, who are pretty
much what used to be called moderate Republicans. The Republican Party
itself has drifted so far to the right that they’re almost off the
spectrum. But the split within the Democratic Party is significant, and
it’s showing up in primary after primary. Will the party move in the
direction of its popular base, with a, essentially, social democratic,
New Deal-style programs, even beyond? Or will it continue to cater to
the donor class and be essentially a moderate wing—a more moderate wing
of the Republican Party? And unless that issue is resolved, I don’t
think they have a very good chance in the forthcoming elections.
I more or less agree with
Chomsky, but not quite.
I agree with him on the splitting of the Democratic Party and on the
Clintonite Democrats, and also on the fact that the non-Clintonite
Democrats tend to be mostly social democrats (rather than
democratic socialists), but I think even something as weak as
democracy probably will fail in the present totalitarian USA,
money, propaganda and lies determine most things, including the
outcomes of elections.
Here is more by Chomsky:
We should bear in
mind that, for now almost 40 years, since the neoliberal assault began,
taking off with Reagan, on from there, a large majority of the
population are living in conditions of stagnation or decline. Real
wages are—for, say, male real wages—are about what they were in the
1960s. It’s been—there has been productivity growth. Hasn’t gone to
working people. It’s gone into the very few extremely overstuffed
pockets. And that continues. So, the Labor Department just came out
with its report for wages in the year ending May 2018. Now, they
actually slightly declined.
Yes, but if the majority
of the American electorate cannot even make up their minds after
years of being systematically shafted, what will?!
Here is some more by Chomsky:
everybody’s well aware, the tax scam was a purposeful effort not only
to enrich the super-rich and the corporate sector—corporate profits, of
course, are overflowing—but it was also an effort to sharply increase
the deficit, which can be used—and Paul Ryan and others kindly
announced to us right away what the plans were—the deficit could be
used to undermine any elements of government structure which benefit
the general population—Medicare, Social Security, food for poor
children. Anything you can do to shaft the general population more can
now be justified under the argument that we have a huge deficit, thanks
to stuffing the pockets of the rich. This is an astonishing phenomenon.
Yes, indeed. But this has
also been going on for forty years... In brief, I mostly agree
Chomsky, but I guess I am
And this is a strongly recommended article.
and Sadistic”: Noam Chomsky on Family Separation
article is also by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
say 711 children remain separated from their parents despite Thursday’s
court-imposed deadline for the Trump administration to reunite all
migrant children separated from their parents by immigration officials
at the border. More than 400 parents have been deported back to their
home countries while their children remain in U.S. custody in
facilities scattered across the United States. For more on the Trump
administration’s family separation policy and the roots of today’s
refugee crisis, we speak with world-renowned political dissident,
linguist, author and professor Noam Chomsky.
Yes, indeed. I select only
one bit from this interview:
Well, it’s a major scandal, of course, and properly condemned
throughout the world. Taking children away from their parents, sending
them off somewhere, losing track of them, you know, it’s hard to think
of a more brutal and sadistic policy.
But the immigration policy
altogether is a grotesque moral scandal here, and in Europe, I should
So, essentially, what
President Trump is saying is, we’ll destroy your countries, slaughter
you, impose brutal regimes, but if you try to get out, you’re not going
to come here, because America is full.
Yes, I quite
agree, although I would have liked to see more persons than merely Bill
Maher and myself who insist that taking these children from their
parents is kidnapping.
Incidentally, here is the beginning of the item "kidnapping":
law, kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away (asportation) and confinement of a person
against his or her will. Thus, it is a composite crime. It can also be
defined as false imprisonment by means of abduction, both of which are
separate crimes that when committed simultaneously upon the same person
merge as the single crime of kidnapping. The asportation/abduction
element is typically but not necessarily conducted by means of force or
fear. That is, the perpetrator may use a weapon to force the victim
into a vehicle, but it is still kidnapping if the victim is enticed to
enter the vehicle willingly, e.g., in the belief it is a taxicab.
How does this differ
from what Trump and his government are doing?!
in a World Bereft of Privacy
is by Annie Machon on Consortiumnews. It starts with the following
As Edward Snowden
confirmed beyond doubt, we live in a world where our most intimate
moments can be seen by would-be extortioners and, more alarmingly, by
our governments, says Annie Machon.
And I think this was the most important bit of confirmation and news
that I ever read:
Absolutely everyone living absolutely anywhere
is totally open for the
secret services (from anywhere) and has no private secrets
Everything he or she does with any computer (cellphone, tablet)
connected to the internet can be read by each and every secret service
and by some of the richest men (from Google, Facebook, Apple,
Microsoft) and by nobody else (other than some hackers).
And I think this is basically although not only thanks to Sir Tim
Berners-Lee: He laid the foundations of neofascism
spying on everyone.
Here is more by Machon - and I copy this simply because this may
to many nowadays:
A few days ago I
first received a menacing email from someone calling herself Susana
Peritz. She told me “she” had hacked my email, planted malware on my
computer, and had then filmed me getting my jollies while watching
“interesting” porn online. Her email had caught my attention because it
mentioned in the subject line a very old password, attached to a very
old email address I had not used for over a decade. The malware must
have been planted on a defunct computer.
In fact, the same holds
for me, but I have never been blackmailed sofar (and don't think I can
be). Then again, I assume I am being followed by spies since
I got fast internet, and since when I have received only very few
emails about my large sites (and most of that was trying to move me to
on my site).
Putting aside the fact that I
am far more concerned about GCHQ or the NSA hacking my computer (as
should we all be), this did rather amuse me.
Apparently, I must pay this
“Susana” $1000 via Bitcoin or, shock, have my alleged pleasures shared
with my acquaintances. And just last night I received another courteous
request for cash from someone calling themselves Jillie Abdulrazak, but
the price has now been inflated to $3000.
Why am I not concerned? Well,
I can safely say – hand on heart – that I have never watched online
porn. But this got me thinking about how or why I could have been
singled out for this mark of a blackmailer’s esteem, and that brings me
on to some rather dark thoughts.
I think that is on purpose, and I thank Sir Tim
Berners-Lee and others for
it: You made everybody's mail visible for anyone who could catch it.
Here is more Machon:
Ever since I worked
as an intelligence officer for MI5, before going on the run with
Shayler during the whistleblowing years in the late 1990s, I have been
painfully aware of the tech capabilities of the spies. Even back then
we knew that computers could be captured by adversaries and turned
against you – keystroke loggers, remote recording via microphones,
cameras switched on to watch you, and many other horrors.
Yes, and in fact I think
this is an understatement: I think absolutely everyone (with an
internet connection) can be followed
and is being followed, and the results are stored, simply
are quite easy and quite cheap for the secret services.
The whistleblowing of Edward
Snowden back in 2013 has confirmed all this and more on an industrial,
global scale – we are all potentially at risk of this particular
invasion of our personal privacy. I have kept my computer and mobile
camera lenses covered for all these years precisely because of this
Then again, I have no webcamera, have no microphone,
and only use
Firefox and Thunderbird on the internet and nothing else (and am not
a member of
anything, and do not want to be). I also very probably will never
more, for I hate being spied upon by anyone, and especially by the
Here is the last bit of Machon that I quote:
I have spoken about
privacy and surveillance at conferences around the world and have many,
many times had to debate the supposition that “if you are doing nothing
wrong, you have nothing to hide.”
Yes, I agree - and as to
cowardly and utterly stupid notion
that “if you are doing
nothing wrong, you have
nothing to hide”: What counts as doing wrong may change with each and
every government, and the government should NOT
have any insight into
mails and private information anyway, nor should the governments'
spies. And this is a recommended article.
However, most people would
like to keep their intimate relationships private. In this era of work
travel and long distance relationships, more of us might well have
intimate conversations and even video play via the internet. In an
adult, consensual and mutually pleasurable context, we are doing
nothing wrong and we have nothing to hide, but we surely don’t want the
spooks to be watching us or listening in, any more than we would want
the criminals capturing images and trying to shake us down for money.
This low-level and laughably
amateur attempt at extortion is risible. Unfortunately, the threat from
our governments spying on us all is not.
Americans Need to Defend Julian Assange’s Freedom
This article is by
Nozomi Hayase on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Over 50 years ago,
in his letter from the Birmingham Jail, addressing a struggle of the
civil right era, Martin Luther King Jr.
wrote, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for
the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling
silence of the good people.” His message is now more prevalent than
ever in the current political climate surrounding WikiLeaks and its
founder Julian Assange.
Yes, precisely - and my
own conclusion of King's words is that "the appalling silence of the good people" has mostly if not completely been maintained
in the last 50+ years. I also think it will continue, for now everybody
knows or should know that everything they write will end up in
some personal dossier with many secret services, with Facebook, with
Google, and probably also with Apple and Microsoft, while I also have
come to the conclusion - after trying to turn on the student population
of the "University" of Amsterdam to rationality and science, which
success in 5% of all votes - that you need an IQ over 130 to be credibly
and with motivation for rationality and
O, and as to Nozomi
Hayase: She has worked for Wikileaks. Here is more:
These efforts to
destroy WikiLeaks brought a long dreadful persecution of Assange. He
has been detained for 8 years, first in prison, then under house arrest
and now as a refugee living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In
2012 he was granted political asylum against the threat of extradition
to the U.S., relating to his publishing activities with WikiLeaks. The
UK government, in violation of UN rulings that
indicated the situation of Assange as arbitrary detention, kept him
in confinement, depriving him of medical care and sunlight.
Yes, quite so. Here is
In late March, this
already untenable situation got worse. Pressured by the U.S., Ecuador’s
new President Lenin Moreno put Assange in isolation by
Again I completely
and here is more:
his access to the
Internet, denying him phone calls and visitors, including Human Rights
Watch. The latest news about him indicates that the Ecuadorian
close to finalizing an agreement with British officials to evict
Assange from the embassy. How did this all happen? Here we have a
Western journalist, who has not been charged with any crime, being
punished for providing information that shed light on crimes and
corruption of governments.
This attitude toward
flipped during the election season in 2016. WikiLeaks’ publication
of damaging information from the Hillary Clinton campaign during the
final weeks leading up to the election was met with Democrats’ hostile
criticism. In their minds, WikiLeaks has changed.
Actually, I doubt
do not think that "the Democrats'" minds have changed: Hillary
lost the elections thanks to her own lack of an interesting personality
and her own (and her husband's) enormous
Democrats changed their minds on Wikipedia because most of the elected
Democrats are equally corrupt though not equally rich as Hillary
Here is some on Assange:
Julian Paul Assange
is a computer programmer and journalist with an independent mind and
deep knowledge of the workings of hidden forces of control. Raffi
Khatchadourian, a staff writer at The New Yorker, who profiled Assange
in his article in 2010,
described how this Australian native, who recently obtained
citizenship in Ecuador came to “understand the defining human struggle
not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual
Well... I think myself it
is still the struggle between the (real) left and the right and
fact that an individual's human and other rights now are as nought to
most governments and all secret services, but OK.
Here is more:
Similar to the faith
in the wisdom of ordinary people to govern themselves, expressed in the
preamble of the Constitution with its first words “We the People”,
Assange believed in the significance of ordinary people and their
ability to engage in history. Thomas Jefferson
recognized how, “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom
of the press…”. Just as founders of this country did not trust their
own government and created a safeguard for individual liberty, Assange
believed in the importance of an informed public in the functioning of
Clearly - I would say - so
does anyone with any more or less real leftist convictions.
I admit that I have been trying to change people's opinions since more
than 40 years, and I have basically given up because of universal
surveillance (which will introduce neofascism,
if it has not yet) and
because I think you need to have an IQ of at least 130 to be able to
see through the extremely many lies and propaganda you
read every day.
(And 1 in 50 are in that position, which - alas - seems not enough.)
Here is more:
WikiLeaks has not
changed. It has not abandoned American ideals that have fueled the
engine for this organization. WikiLeaks accepts information that is of
public interest. It verifies and publishes authentic documents that fit
I agree with this, and
here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
of having “diplomatic,
political, ethical, or historical significance, which has not been
published before, and which is being suppressed”. It does this, no
matter who is in office and which nation-state rises to global
dominance, and even if doing so makes it a target of massive political
Julian Assange is a persecution of American ideals. Criminalizing the
act of publishing through the Espionage Act destroys the First
Amendment as the guardian of democracy. This not only sets a dangerous
precedent for press freedom, but it could allow the beginning of a new
Well... in my opinion
the First Amendment
was completely destroyed in its original meaning by the
"interpretation" of the majority of the Supreme Court in 2010, in the "Citizens United"
decision. And if I were to give a date for the legal arisal of "a new totalitarianism" (but not according to the sick
Wikipedia) I would give 2010 or else 2001, which was when everyone's
mails, values, ideas, preferences, privacy etc. etc. were made the free
field of the secret services. But this is a recommended article.
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 (!!).