from October 25, 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 October 25, 2018:
1. How Amazon, Palantir, Microsoft & Tech Giants Are
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. Potential Explosive Devices Sent to Obama, Clintons, CNN
3. New York Sues ExxonMobil for Defrauding Investors by Hiding
4. There’s a Growing International Alliance of Right-Wing
5. Conclusion, privacy has been all but eliminated from the
Amazon, Palantir, Microsoft & Tech Giants Are Powering Trump’s
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It starts with the
A shocking new
investigation by immigrant rights groups reveals how corporations like
Amazon, Palantir and Microsoft are profiting from and expediting
Trump’s incarceration and deportation operations. Some 10 percent of
the Department of Homeland Security’s $44 billion budget is dedicated
to data management. The report was published as new documents obtained
by the Project on Government Oversight show Amazon is pushing
Immigration and Customs Enforcement to start using its controversial
facial recognition technology that could identify immigrants in real
time by scanning faces in a video feed. We speak with Jacinta González,
organizer with Mijente, a national political hub for Latinx organizing.
The group partnered with the Immigrant Defense Project and the National
Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild on the new report
titled “Who’s Behind ICE? The Tech and Data
Companies Fueling Deportations.”
In fact, I normally
reproduce the introductions on Democracy Now! simply because they are
good summaries of the interview and the subject(s) that follow them.
And if you are interested in the present article, you should
interested in ¨the new report¨.
Next, here is more:
GONZÁLEZ: (...) You know, what we really found in this report
is understanding that the tech industry, Silicon Valley, is really
changing the way we see Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the
ground. We’ve been seeing for a while added capabilities to be able to
surveil people, be able to input new sources of data, including private
sources, like medical bills, different records from different
companies. Even your phone bill, for example, is getting into these
records. And that’s how immigration is able to conduct their raids and
go door to door, terrorizing communities and really impacting families
every day that are devastated by their separations.
Quite so - and my own
guesses on the subject of surveillance in general are these
(1) At least someone
in national security, Facebook, Google etc. knows much more than
anyone knows about himself, and national
security may know everything there is
on your internet computer; and
(2) the only reason I cannot be more precise is that national
security, Facebook, Google etc.
are keeping almost everything they do a
Also, I definitely
(3) Surveillance of
everyone´s personal data is - by far - the strongest argument neofascism
will be soon arriving.
Here is more from the
GONZÁLEZ: One of the primary companies that we identified was
a company named Palantir. And Palantir was literally founded by money
that was invested from the CIA and Peter
Thiel, who many of us know is a strong supporter of Mr. Trump, to
create this company that would be able to do data processing, data
mining, has been involved in multiple international scandals, including
Cambridge Analytica, and is basically creating the backbone of ICE. It is creating the investigative case
management system that ICE uses to be able
to track immigrants, to be able to surveil them and, finally, organize
their deportation. But what we’re seeing is that they’re able—Palantir
is able to develop this technology to attack immigrants, yet, somehow,
whenever they separate children from their parents at the border, they
lose track of them and aren’t able to find out where they are. So we
really are able to see, through these technologies, what they’re
prioritizing, but also who is behind this. It’s the CIA.
It’s Peter Thiel. It’s business interests that are trying to expand
Yes, I agree, and like
to add that the fact that ¨whenever
[ICE] separate children from their parents at the border, [ICE]
lose track of them and aren’t able to find out where they are¨ must be an absolute lie intended
to fuck up the lives of these children and their parents.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
- and for
me, the (presumed) fact that ¨corporations in Silicon Valley and other places in the world
that are amassing more power, more money, more information than anyone
else has¨ - and I wrote
¨(presumed)¨ because I think that the American national security
has at least as many data - is a strong sign that the
corporations in Silicon Valley also are at the foundation of neofascism,
that indeed will make them profit enormously.
GONZÁLEZ: (..) I mean, what we’re seeing now more than ever is
we have corporations in Silicon Valley and other places in the world
that are amassing more power, more money, more information than anyone
else has. I mean, Amazon at this point literally knows what your
favorite type of blender is and is holding your entire police file. We
have to be able to have more accountability from these corporations. We
need to be able to ensure that they are respecting basic human rights.
And if the government isn’t willing to step up to do it, we know that
workers inside are going to be able to organize, and also the general
public is able to push back on them. But we know that more and more
corporations are starting to influence international politics.
You may disagree, but if you do my guesses are that you know less about
computers and programming than I do, and have not read (or properly
thought about) my definition of neofascism.
Also, I think I should add I have somewhat less trust in ¨workers inside¨ than Jacinta González appears to have, and that
accountability from these corporations¨ will be extremely difficult without specific
which again will be very difficult to introduce and get accepted
because the corporations are against it, and have very many billions to
alllow them to enforce their views on the many. And this is a strongly
Explosive Devices Sent to Obama, Clintons, CNN Offices
This article is by
Michael Balsamo on Truthdig and originally on The Associated Press. It
starts as follows:
Disrupting a rash of
targeted attacks, the U.S. Secret Service intercepted a bomb that was
addressed to Hillary Clinton and a possible explosive that was sent to
former President Barack Obama.
Also Wednesday, a police
bomb squad was sent to CNN’s offices in New York City and the newsroom
was evacuated because of a suspicious package.
A U.S. official told The
Associated Press that investigators believe the explosive that was
discovered near the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York, is linked to
one found Monday at the compound of liberal billionaire George Soros.
Yes, quite so. I could
also have reported this news from The New York Times but did not,
mostly because I think The Associated Press is better on the real facts.
Here is a bit more:
Neither Clinton nor Obama
received the packages, and neither was at risk of receiving them
because of screening procedures, the Secret Service said in a statement.
The White House condemned
“the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama,
President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures.”
“These terrorizing acts are
despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the
fullest extent of the law,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a
statement that that referred to the senders as “these cowards.”
Well... I notice Ms. Sanders
did not say ¨these criminals¨, which would have been factually
correct. Besides, I think the White House is lying, but that must
days be seen as a matter of course. And this is a recommended article.
York Sues ExxonMobil for Defrauding Investors by Hiding Climate Threat
is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
After a three-year probe
and amid mounting demands that the fossil fuel industry be held
accountable for driving the climate crisis, New York Attorney General Barbara
Underwood on Wednesday filed
suit against ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil and gas company,
for defrauding investors by downplaying the financial threat of
regulations crafted to mitigate human-caused global warming.
"Big oil may finally face
some consequences for its role in wrecking the climate," declared
350.org co-founded Bill McKibben. "The New York Attorney General is
standing up for investors who may have been swindled, and indirectly
for the seven billion of us who will suffer from Exxon's lies."
I say, for I did not
know this. I more or less agree with Bill McKibben, although I probably
am a bit less optimistic that Exxon Mobile will have to
pay, what with
the conservative Supreme Court, but I quite agree that in any case this
is a good step.
Here is more on the
case against ExxonMobil:
I think this is all quite
correct, but I also want to point out a possible weakness of the
Underwood´s case: ExxonMobil might defend itself by claiming
manage ¨the risks of
climate change regulation to its business¨ and they might have been ¨systematically underestimating or ignoring¨ these risks according to
"Investors put their
money and their trust in Exxon—which assured them of the long-term
value of their shares, as the company claimed to be factoring the risk
of increasing climate change regulation into its business decisions.
Yet as our investigation found, Exxon often did no such thing," Underwood
said in a statement.
New York investigators, she
said, concluded that "Exxon built a facade to deceive investors into
believing that the company was managing the risks of climate change
regulation to its business when, in fact, it was intentionally and
systematically underestimating or ignoring them, contrary to its public
(pdf) details years of troubling actions by Exxon's leaders—including
former CEO Rex Tillerson, who spent
more than 40 years at the company prior to his short-lived
tenure as the President Donald Trump's first secretary of state.
Here is more:
I think Wiles and Ages are
quite correct, but I am considerably less certain these
hold up in court (although I think they should). And this is a
"colossal climate denial operation"—which was also detailed
in a Harvard study published last year—"significantly impacted how the
climate change debate played out in business, science, and politics,"
noted Naomi Ages of Greenpeace USA.
And as Richard Wiles,
executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity, observed,
"Climate change deception is central to Exxon's business model." The
company pocketed immense profits while it "bankrolled a 30-year,
multi-million denial campaign, manufacturing doubt about climate
science when it knew there was none."
a Growing International Alliance of Right-Wing Demagogues
is by Vijay Prashad on Common Dreams. This starts as follows and is in
fact about Brazil, that probably will democratically
Bolsonaro, who seems most like a new Hitler to me - with this
difference that Brazil has many more inhabitants than Hitler´s Germany.
Here is the first bit that I quote from this article:
Quite so. Here is more on
This is what it has come to.
Lula in His Cell
Lula da Silva—Brazil’s former
president—is sitting in his prison in Curitiba, a small town southwest
of São Paulo. He should not be there. Evidence of corruption against
him hangs on the words of a felon. Lula should have been on the ballot.
But the oligarchy refused to allow this most popular man to run for the
Quite so again. Here is
more on Bannon and Bolsonaro:
Jair Bolsonaro, the candidate
of the far-right who is now the candidate of the oligarchy, leads in
the polls. He is nostalgic for Brazil’s military dictatorship
(1964-1985) and wants to use unconstitutional force against those whom
he sees are a problem for Brazil. His targets are the poor and the
social minorities—Afro-Brazilians, Gays, Leftists. The oligarchy
flooded the Bolsonaro camp with money.
This seems a bit less
certain, but may well all be correct. O, and Prashad calls Bannon´s
¨Tje Movement¨ ¨Fascist International¨, which seems a good descriptive
title to me (although I do think that in fact Bannon is a neofascist).
Steve Bannon said as he left
the White House that the shackles were off his hands. He was no longer
imprisoned by propriety. He wanted to be in the trenches, building his
white supremacist, fascist international. Bannon calls his group The
Movement. One of Bolsonaro’s sons said that Bannon has advised his
father’s campaign, that Bannon—in sum—has drawn Bolsonaro into The
Here is more on Bolsonaro:
I agree with
is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Bolsonaro has been proud to
say that he is “Brazil’s Trump.” But this is not a good comparison. It
is clearer to say that Bolsonaro is Brazil’s Duterte. Rodrigo Duterte
is the president of the Philippines. He came to office with a gun in
his hand. Duterte was the mayor of Davao, where he empowered death
squads to kill anyone deemed to be a criminal. “Kill them all,” he said
in 2015 in reference to criminals. “Kill a drug dealer and I’ll give
you a medal,” he said. He likes to be photographed with a gun in his
hand, preferably a machine gun.
I agree with
but indeed I also agree with Prashad that it probably will have little
impact on the
Brazilian elections. This is a strongly recommended article.
Five hundred people of good
sense—from Bernie Sanders to Angela Davis, from Noam Chomsky to Pablo
Iglesias—signed a short document,
an international declaration against fascism in Brazil. The document
calls upon the Brazilian population to reject Bolsonaro, whose
presidency would be a “threat to any free, tolerant and just society.”
Brazilians will have to choose between “liberty and pluralism” on one
side and “retrograde authoritarianism” on the other. “There can be no
neutrality,” the signatories write, “in the choice between democracy
and fascism.” This is a document. It might have a small impact.
privacy has been all but eliminated from the digital environment
is by Rick Falkvinge on Falkvinge.net. It is from May 2018, which is
mostly due to the fact that I saw more of Falkvinge.net some years
earlier, but there is less now there and I don´t often look at it.
Anyway... this has a subtitle:
In a series of posts
on this blog, we have shown how practically everything our parents took
for granted with regards to privacy has been completely eliminated for
our children, just because they use digital tools instead of analog,
and the people interpreting the laws are saying that privacy only
applies to the old, analog environment of our parents.
I suppose at 68 and I belong to
the class of ¨our parents¨, although I have no children. I very
probably would have had them if both myself and my ex had not fallen
ill in January 1979 with a disease that I am only since March 2018
(!!!) ¨medically allowed¨ to say is a ¨serious chronic disease¨, but in
fact I am now happy I have no children, simply because their
probable future will be a neofascist
And I think the above is fundamentally correct. Here is the start of
Once you agree with the
observation that privacy seems to simply not apply for our
children, merely for living in a digitally-powered environment instead
of our parents’ analog-powered one, surprise turns to shock turns to
anger, and it’s easy to want to assign blame to someone for essentially
erasing five generations’ fight for civil liberties while people were
looking the other way.
So whose fault is it, then?
It’s more than one actor at
work here, but part of the blame must be assigned to the illusion that
that nothing has changed, just because our digital children can use
old-fashioned and obsolete technology to obtain the rights they should
always have by law and constitution, regardless of which method
they use to talk to friends and exercise their privacy rights.
Well... yes and no.
Yes, I agree that ¨part
the blame must be assigned to the illusion that that nothing has changed¨ that is to the stupidity and
of the majority of computer users, but no, I think that the
national security organizations (i.e. the anonymous spies of some
government) and Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple etc. are far
more liable than the majority of computer users.
Then again, as to ¨the illusion that that nothing has changed¨ there is this:
We’ve all heard these
“You still have privacy of
correspondence, just use the old analog letter”. As if the Internet
generation would. You might as well tell our analog parents
that they would need to send a wired telegram to enjoy some basic
“You can still use a
library freely.” Well, only an analog one, not a digital one like The
Pirate Bay, which differs from an analog library only in efficiency,
and not in anything
“You can still discuss
anything you like.” Yes, but only in the analog streets and squares,
not in the digital streets and squares.
“You can still date someone
without the government knowing your dating preferences.” Only if I
prefer to date like our parents did, in the unsafe analog world, as
opposed to the safe digital environment where predators vanish at the
click of a “block” button, an option our analog parents didn’t have in
The laws aren’t different
for the analog and the digital. The law doesn’t make a difference
between analog and digital. But no law is above the people who
interpret it in the courts, and the way people interpret those laws
means the privacy rights always apply to the analog world, but never to
the digital world.
In considerable part
this is sarcasm or satire, but I mostly agree, although as I said, I
hold the national
security organizations and Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple etc. much
Then there is this,
which is in bold in the original:
It’s going to be a
long uphill battle to win back the liberties that were slowly won by
our ancestors over about six generations, and which have been all but
abolished in a decade.
In fact, I think this is quite
without a revolution.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
I fear the failure to pass
on the civil liberties from our parents to our children is going to be
seen as the greatest failure of this particular current generation,
regardless of all the good we also accomplish. Surveillance societies
can be erected in just ten years, but can take centuries to roll back.
Yes, I agree. And ¨surveillance societies¨ are neofascist
societies, where a very few totally
control everyone else, and surveillance as it has been happening since
2001 will keep happening apart from a revolution that allows a nearly
totally different set of politicians and a partially destroyed
internet. This is a strongly 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 (!!).