from August 9, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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 August 9, 2018:
1. Inside Google’s Effort to Develop a Censored Search Engine
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. Immigration Judges Say Justice Dept. Undermines
3. Giving Trump Carte Blanche for War
4. 99-Year-Old Nuremberg Prosecutor Calls Trump's Detention
a 'Crime Against Humanity'
5. Monopoly or Democracy?
Google’s Effort to Develop a Censored Search Engine in China
This article is by
Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Google analyzed search
terms entered into a Beijing-based website to help develop blacklists
for a censored search engine it has been planning to launch in China,
according to confidential documents seen by The Intercept.
Engineers working on the
censorship sampled search queries from 265.com, a Chinese-language web
directory service owned by Google.
Unlike Google.com and other
Google services, such as YouTube, 265.com is not blocked in China by
the country’s so-called Great Firewall, which restricts access to
websites deemed undesirable by the ruling Communist Party regime.
It appears that Google has used 265.com as a de facto honeypot for
market research, storing information about Chinese users’ searches
before sending them along to Baidu. Google’s use of 265.com offers an
insight into the mechanics behind its planned
Chinese censored search platform, code-named Dragonfly, which the
company has been preparing since spring 2017.
I have written about
this before - see here. Also, while
the present concern is about assisting totalitarian
countries to remain totalitarian (by helping to arrest anyone who
deviates more than a tiny
little bit from what the government desires them to think, feel and
value), I think this is the probable future of everyone.
Also, to offer a
parallel: I think Google´s actions are quite comparable to its
assisting Hitler and Stalin to maintain their totalitarianism -
that Google is extremely much more powerful
than Hitler´s Gestapo was,
and than Stalin´s KGB was, in terms of what it knows about people.
Here is more on how
Google proceeded in China:
After gathering sample
queries from 265.com, Google engineers used them to review lists of
websites that people would see in response to their searches. The
Dragonfly developers used a tool they called “BeaconTower” to check
whether the websites were blocked by the Great Firewall. They compiled
a list of thousands of websites that were banned, and then integrated
this information into a censored version of Google’s search engine so
that it would automatically manipulate Google results, purging links to
websites prohibited in China from the first page shown to users.
As I said, this is
like helping the Gestapo or the KGB, except that Google is thousands,
tenthousands or a million times as powerful as were the KGB or the
Here is more:
According to documents and
people familiar with the Dragonfly project, teams of Google programmers
and engineers have already created a functioning version of the
censored search engine. Google’s plan is for its China search platform
to be made accessible through a custom Android app, different versions
of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei,” as The Intercept first
reported last week.
The app has been designed
to filter out content that China’s authoritarian government views as
sensitive, such as information about political opponents, free speech,
democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. The censored search app
will “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown”
at all when people enter certain words or phrases, according to
internal Google documents.
As I said, this is
future for the USA and Europe as well, with the USA probably the
to follow, possibly already in 2020, if Trump wins the elections and
wants to stifle all criticisms of the press and on the internet.
Here is how
A week on from the
disclosure, Google’s leadership has still not commented internally
about the plans, sources said. Google did not respond to a request for
comment on this story. The company’s press office has so far refused to
answer questions from dozens of reporters about Dragonfly, saying that
it “will not comment on speculation about future plans.”
One insider told The
Intercept that memes have circulated among company employees portraying
images of China’s censorship. One meme showed a Chinese internet user
searching for information about the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989,
only to receive a result saying that the atrocity was a myth.
Quite so, and this is a
strongly recommended article.
Judges Say Justice Dept. Undermines Independence
This article is by
Claudia Lauer on Truthdig and originally on The Associated Press. It
starts as follows:
on Wednesday accused the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney General
Jeff Sessions of undermining a Philadelphia judge’s independence by
having cases removed from his court, apparently because the federal
officials deemed him too slow to make decisions on deportation orders.
A grievance filed by their
union asks for the Justice Department’s Executive Office for
Immigration Review to acknowledge in writing that it will not interfere
with the “decisional authority” of judges in the assignment or
reassignment of cases.
independence of immigration judges is under siege,” said Los Angeles
Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor in her role as president of the National
Association of Immigration Judges. “If allowed to stand, the agency can
simply forum-shop its cases for the outcome it wishes to achieve.”
Precisely so -
case you did not know this concerns the independence of the
side of the state (the judges, the police etc. etc.) from the
executive side (the government), which is one of the few bases of
If the executionary
part is to decide who is going to judge whom and when, you may as well
leave the judges out - and the government then is totalitarian.
This is from the ending
of the article:
Quite so, and this is a
The judges’ union said the
Justice Department’s action not only undermined Morley’s authority but
“also threatens the ability of all immigration judges nationwide to
fairly apply the immigration laws of the United States consistent with
due process rights of parties.”
Trump Carte Blanche for War
article is by John Kiriakou on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
Have you ever heard
of Senate Joint Resolution 59 (S.J.Res. 59)? Neither had I. A friend of
mine saw a blurb about it on an obscure national security blog and
brought it to my attention. At first glance it didn’t seem to be any
big deal. It’s inelegantly named the “Authorization for Use of Military
Force (AUMF) of 2018.” It was introduced on April 16, 2018 by Senators
Bob Corker (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee (SFRC), and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
Precisely, and I
fully with Kiriakou - and yes, this is fully anti-constitutional.
- parenthetically - what a sick neofascistic
horror is Tim Kaine!)
It’s hard to oppose a bill
that would “keep Americans safe,” as Corker said in the SFRC hearing.
But this bill is so bad, such an affront to our freedom, such an attack
on our civil liberties, that we should be compelled to oppose it.
S.J.Res. 59 is bad for a
number of reasons. First and most importantly, it would provide blanket
permission for the president to launch a military attack of literally
any size and intensity whenever he wants without specific congressional
approval. That seems obviously unconstitutional to me, although I’m not
a constitutional scholar. Still, the constitution says in Article I,
Section 8 that only Congress shall have the authority to declare war,
among other things military. It does not allow the president the
ability to launch a war.
Here is more on the totalitarian
horrors Tim Kaine introduced (with a
Second, according to
Marjorie Cohn, professor emerita at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law
and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, it also would write
the president a “blank check to lock up Americans who dissent against
U.S. military policy.” That’s right. If you oppose U.S. military
policy, the president would have the right to lock you up indefinitely
law is completely totalitarian
(but not according to the sick
Wikipedia, that uses an intentionally
falsified definition): If the
president can decide to lock up anyone who is against any of the wars
the president can personally start, indeed for an indefinite time and
without any trial, that is
This is different. This would
mean everybody would be at risk. It would mean you could be held in a
gulag, incommunicado, if the White House doesn’t like your politics.
The reason this could come to
pass is that, third, the bill is (probably unconstitutionally) broad.
It says that the president may, “use all necessary and appropriate
force” against Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia,
al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Taliban, and their “associated forces” anywhere in
the world and without limitation. But it doesn’t define what
“associated forces” means, nor does it define a “co-belligerent,”
someone acting in support of one of these countries or groups. It
allows the White House to do that for us.
Here is part of Kiriakou´s ending:
This terrible bill
is stuck in the muck of the congressional process right now. As the
months tick by, there’s a greater and greater likelihood that it will
simply die. But that doesn’t solve the problem. The problem is that
Congress is generally made up of lemmings and cheerleaders for the
military/industrial/intelligence complex. They do as they’re told,
whether it’s by their leadership or whomever happens to be sitting in
the White House. That’s bad for the country. It’s bad for the
constitution. And it’s bad for future generations.
Yes, I fully agree and
this is a strongly recommended article.
Nuremberg Prosecutor Calls Trump's Detention of Children a 'Crime
article is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
The last surviving
prosecutor at the Nazi Nuremberg trials just offered harsh criticism
for the Trump administration's family separation crisis resulting from
its cruel immigration policies, calling it "a crime against humanity."
Ninety-nine year old Ben
Ferencz made the comments in a recent lengthy interview with United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, which
was posted online Tuesday.
Ben Ferencz, and indeed have said from the beginning that the
government of the USA has been kidnapping
children. I still
Here is Ferencz, first
speaking and then in a tweet:
"It was outrageous. I was
furious that anybody would think that it's permissible to take young
children—5, 4, 3 years of age—and take them away from their parents and
say the parents go to another country and the children go to another
country, and we'll get you together, maybe, at some later date."
young parents to surrender custody of their weeping children because
they were unable to comply with restrictive immigration rules is a
disgrace to our great country. Such cruelty should be condemned as a
crime against humanity.
Precisely. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
I agree with Ferencz on
war, but I am afraid I am less optimistic than he is, even
though I grant Ferencz may be right about ¨the students¨:
Ferencz also denounced the
ongoing "glorification of war-making." He said, "The capacity to kill
human beings has grown faster than our capacity to meet their vital and
justified needs," noting, "Nobody wins in war; the only winner is
He's still expresses
optimism, however, about the state of the world. But he said that hope
lies not with diplomats or national leaders. Rather, "the students are
with us, and I think the future lies with them." Some young people, he
said, "are thoughtful enough to realize they're in great danger."
Even if he is right, all communicate by computers, and what they read
write gets fully stored by the secret services of many countries, which
means that nearly all of ¨the students¨ may be picked up by their governments
times of trouble for their governments. And this is a strongly
is by Jim Hightower on Common Dreams and originally on Creators. It
starts as folows:
America's political history
has been written in the fierce narrative of war — not only our
country's many military clashes with foreign nations, but also our own
unending war for democracy in the U.S.
Generation after generation
of moneyed elites have persisted in trying to take wealth and power
from the workaday majority and concentrate both of those things in
their wealthy hands to establish a de facto American aristocracy. Every
time, the people have rebelled in organized mass struggles against the
monopolist and financial royalists — literally battling for a little
more economic fairness, social justice, and equal opportunity. And now,
the time of rebellion is upon us again, for We the People are suddenly
in the grip of a brutish level of monopolistic power.
Corporate concentration of
markets, profits, workplace decision-making, political influence and
our nation's total wealth is surpassing that of the infamous era of
robber barons. Apple, which just became the first U.S. corporation to
reach a stock value of a trillion dollars, is now larger than Bank of
America, Boeing, Disney, Ford, Volkswagon and 20 other brand-name
giants combined. Just five tech superpowers — Apple, Amazon, Facebook,
Google and Netflix — have raked in half of this year's stock price
gains by the 500 top corporations ranked by the S&P index. A recent
gold rush of corporate mergers has created mega-firms and shriveled
competition in most industries, including airlines, banks, drug
companies, food, hospitals, hotels, law firms, media, oil and more.
I fully agree
last paragraph, but less with the two previous ones, because I do
that war outside the U.S. (committed by the U.S.), such as in Vietnam
or Iraq, is considerably more violent than war inside the U.S.
Then again, the
important part is the third paragraph, and that is quite correct, and
rhymes 100% with my definition of neofascism.
Here is more:
The results of fewer and
bigger corporations is that those few attain overwhelming power over
the rest of us. They are able to control workers' pay, crush unions,
jack up prices, squeeze our smaller businesses, dominate elections,
weaken environmental projections... and become even fewer, bigger and
more powerful. Thus, they are waging all out corporate class war on
American people, and on our democratic ideals, and they're winning.
Yes, I completely
- and indeed for my own part, I´d say they
have won, and they have won
thanks to the personal computer, that can and does spy on everyone and
everything, and that downloads everything to the secret
know millions of times more about their own and other populations than
did the Gestapo or the KGB.
Here is some more:
Yet, in the stunningly
short period of the last couple of decades, corporate political money
and the public officials it bought have enshrined monopoly power as a
legitimate form of business in our land, aggressively protected from
public "meddling" by lawmakers, regulators and judges. For example,
after our grassroots economy was crushed in 2007 by the greed of
too-big-to-fail Wall Street banksters, officials bailed out the
villainous banks at the taxpayer expense and deliberately made them
bigger, more powerful and more dangerous than ever. Today, just five
banks control nearly half of all financial assets in the U.S.
Yes indeed, and I add
that this became possible in 2007-2009 because most Democrats sold
to the rich.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Precisely - and this is a
strongly recommended article.
Three decades ago, 50 large
media conglomerates controlled 90 percent of the media. This year,
after yet another merger of giants is completed, just 5 mega-media
monopolists will control 90 percent of what we see, hear and read. It
is not in their interest to inform the public about the threat that
monopolies pose to our democracy.
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 (!!).