from November 4, 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
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from November 4, 2018:
1. They Are Coming for the Jews
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 Calls Trump and Republican Allies "Criminally
3. 'Rigged' Exposes GOP's 10-Year Effort To Sabotage Democracy
4. 33 Trillion More Reasons Why The New York Times Gets it
5. Senator's Bill Would Punish CEOs With Up to 20 Years in
Jail for Violating
Consumer Privacy Rules
Are Coming for the Jews
This article is by
Jacob Bacharach on Truthdig. It starts as follows
Back in October, which
feels like another geologic era, when the continents took different
shapes and the animals were strange, New Yorker writer Adam Davidson
observed that whether or not Donald Trump knew that his
ritualistic invocation of George Soros as the moneybags puppet-master
of the global left was anti-Semitic, “Either
way, the President is a mouthpiece for vile anti-Semitism.” (At the
time, Trump had insinuated that Soros was paying for protests against
Within a matter of minutes,
New York Times writer Nick Confessore had replied: “I don’t think
attacking things as Soros-funded is de facto anti-Semitic.”
Adam Davidson is Jewish.
Nick Confessore is not.
Less than a month later, a
man who believes that Soros is the leader of a secret cabal intent on
destroying the white race murdered 11 Jews in a synagogue. Two days
later, Trump said again, in an interview, that he “wouldn’t be
surprised” if Soros were funding a so-called migrant caravan.
The administration of the
United States is racist and anti-Semitic. People of color and Jews keep
saying so, and reporters and pundits keep telling us not
I say. Well... let me
make a few remarks, and start with two personal ones.
First, Bacharach is
Jewish and I do not know whether I am, that is, in some - vague, often
misconstrued - "racial" sense.
The reason for my
ignorance is that my father seems to have been Jewish, also in some
vague, often misconstrued sense, because his mother, although she was
fiercely Protestant, seems to have been Jewish (in the sense of having
been a child of a Jewish woman), while I have no idea about my
And the reasons for
that are that my father's family - who were all fiercely Protestant -
had completely broken with him (except for his brother), while
asked my mother, mostly because I wasn't interested (I knew I was not
Jew in any religious
sense, because I was raised atheistically, and I
still am) and because her parents were anarchists and atheists.
It's a bit odd, I
grant, but I do not stem from a completely ordinary family (with a
father, a mother and a grandfather in the real resistance, and a father
and a grandfather arrested and sent to German concentration camps).
Then again, I think I
can understand Bacharach. Here is some more:
As to “gaslighting”, see
the last link. Here is the ending of this article:
Jews are now relearning
what people of color have been yelling from the rooftops for decades. I
am not a great fan of the term “gaslighting,” which has insinuated its
way into popular discourse in a way I find annoyingly inexact, little
more than a broad synonym for simple lying. Nevertheless, it’s a hard
word not to reach for when you feel like you’re constantly being told
you are crazy. “Coded anti-Semitism” is, I suppose, a new version of
“racial language” or “racially charged.”
Even when it is plainly so,
the obscene conventions of mainstream journalism require journalists to
say possibly not.
Now, of course, they
are coming for Jews, for my people, coming for us again, after we let
ourselves be lulled into a comfortable whiteness because they let us
join the country club and go to the Ivy League. They are coming to kill
us at the incitement of the elected executive of the government of the
United States. And even after the deadliest assault on Jews in American
history, I am not convinced that anyone is really listening.
Well... some people are
listening. And I agree that in the USA Jews have been discriminated for
a long time, though the discrimination of the blacks has been worse.
This is a recommended article.
Chomsky Calls Trump and Republican Allies "Criminally Insane"
This article is by John
Horgan on (I think) the blog of Scientific American. It starts as
I don’t really have
heroes, but if I did, Noam Chomsky would be at the top of my list. Who
else has achieved such lofty scientific and moral standing? Linus
Pauling, perhaps, and Einstein. Chomsky’s arguments about the roots of
language, which he first set forth in the late 1950s, triggered a
revolution in our modern understanding of the mind. Since the 1960s,
when he protested the Vietnam War, Chomsky has also been a ferocious
political critic, denouncing abuses of power wherever he sees them.
Chomsky, who turns 90 on December 7, remains busy. He spent last month
in Brazil speaking out against far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro, and he recently discussed the
migrant caravan on the radio show “Democracy Now.” Chomsky, whom I first interviewed
in 1990 (see my profile here), has had an enormous influence
on my scientific and political views. His statement that we may
always "learn more about human life and human personality from novels
than from scientific psychology” could serve as an epigraph for my most
recent book, Mind-Body
Problems. Below he responds to my emailed questions with
characteristic clarity and force.
In fact, the above is a signed
statement - it is signed šJohn Horganš - which is one of the first
times that I see this, in journalism. (But it may be a practice on the
blog of Scientific American, which I don't know since I visited this
only once or twice earlier.)
In any case, the above quoted bit starts the rest of the interview,
from which I quote and review some bits. This is the first (and I take
this because I am a philosopher and a psychologist):
Do you take
seriously the Singularity, the idea that artificial intelligence and
other fields will soon radically transform humanity?
One can certainly imagine
how, in principle, systems that can detect patterns with massive data
processing might find hitherto unknown ways of constructing theories
that surpass those within the reach of human intelligence. And
that could have all sorts of effects. But among the concerns we
face, this doesn’t seem to me to rank high. Even tasks mastered
almost reflexively by infants are far beyond the capacities of
Yes, I completely
agree, indeed also to the extent that to my fairly extensive knowledge
there is as yet no program of any
kind that mirrors spiders or insects
more or less fully.
Then there is this:
Why did you
recently call the Republican Party “the most dangerous organization in
Take its leader, who recently
applied to the government of Ireland for a permit to build a huge wall
to protect his golf course, appealing to the threat of global warming,
while at the same time he withdrew from international efforts to
address the grim threat and is using every means at his disposal to
accelerate it. Or take his colleagues, the participants in the
2016 Republican primaries. Without exception, they either denied
that what is happening is happening – though any ignorance is
self-induced – or said maybe it is but we shouldn’t do anything about
In brief, let’s rob while the
planet burns, putting poor Nero in the shadows.
There have been many monsters in the past, but it would be hard to find
one who was dedicated to undermining the prospects for organized human
society, not in the distant future -- in order to put a few more
dollars in overstuffed pockets.
I more or less agree
(and there is considerably more in the original in answer to
Here is more:
Nixon worse than Donald Trump?
Nixon had a mixed
record. In some respects, he was the last liberal president: OSHA
and EPA for example. On the other hand, he committed terrible
crimes. Arguably the worst was the bombing of rural Cambodia, a
proposed article of impeachment but voted down though it was
incomparably more important than the others. And the article was
much too weak, focusing on the secrecy. There has been little
attention to the orders that Nixon delivered, relayed to the Pentagon
by his faithful servant Henry Kissinger: “A massive bombing campaign in
Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.” It is not easy
to find comparable orders for genocide in the archival record.
But all of Nixon’s crimes pale in comparison with the decision to race
towards the precipice of environmental catastrophe.
I don't know (and
Nixon very well) and I also think this is a difficult question to
answer, but I agree with Chomsky that the bombing of rural Cambodia was
a horrible crime.
And besides, another
complicating factor is that I think - as a psychologist - that Trump is insane, whereas
Nixon probably was not.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
My students are
pretty gloomy about the future. What can I tell them to cheer them up?
Apart from the truly
existential threats of nuclear war and global warming – which can be
averted – there have been far more difficult challenges in the past
than those young people face today, and they have been overcome by
dedicated effort and commitment. The historical record of
struggle and achievement gives ample reason to take to heart the slogan
that Gramsci made famous: “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the
I agree with Gramsci
here, but I remain gloomy. And this is a recommended article.
Exposes GOP's 10-Year Effort To Sabotage Democracy
is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
As the GOP's attacks
on voting rights continue across the United States—from Georgia
Dakota and Kansas—and
massive coalition of progressive groups has formed to break the
hold that powerful corporate and wealthy interests have on American
democratic institutions, the recently released documentary Rigged: The Voter
Suppression Playbook aims to reveal, "in chilling detail, the
dark genius behind the ten-year Republican strategy to reverse the
rising demographic tide of minority voters."
I say. I quite agree that
the voting has been rigged in the USA and while I did not see the
film "Rigged" it probably
Filmed during the 2016
election, Rigged was released just ahead of 2018's highly
anticipated midterm elections. The documentary sheds light on strategic
efforts by members of the Republican Party at all levels of government,
in the wake of former President Barack Obama's historic 2008 win, to
make it more difficult for Americans—particularly the young and
non-white citizens who helped drive Obama's initial presidential
victory—to access their constitutional right to vote.
The full documentary can be
screened online for free here.
Here is more:
Despite the ongoing
voter suppression efforts detailed in the new film, reports of "unprecedented"
turnout for early voting are generating cautious hope among
progressives that this election could lead to victories that enable
Democrats to reverse measures such as voter ID laws enacted by
Republicans over the past decade. While record numbers of black,
Latino, and youth voters already have headed to the polls, voting
rights advocates continue to emphasize the importance of getting to the
ballot box Tuesday.
The voting advocates are
quite right. Here is the last bit that I quote from this
"I hope Rigged
sounds an alarm that wakes America up to what we, as a nation, are
losing—government by and for the people," said Jeffrey Wright,
award-winning actor and narrator of the new film. "The suppression of
American voters is something we thought our country had moved past, and
yet here we are in the 21st century still engaged in this battle over
fundamental rights—a battle that began centuries ago and that Americans
gave their lives fighting. This is a story that needs to be told—and
I agree (and remark you
need just to rig the vote for 5% to be more or less certain that you
will keep winning) and this is a recommended article.
4. 33 Trillion More Reasons Why The New
York Times Gets it Wrong on Russia-gate
is by Gareth Porter on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
Even more damning evidence has come to light undermining The
New York Times‘ assertion in September that Russia used social media to
steal the 2016 election for Donald Trump.
for I did not know most of the above. Then again, I agree
Gareth Porter for a long time, and indeed have been saying that
Russians did try some hacking, but that it very probably was pretty
last month that Russian Facebook posts reached nearly as many
Americans as actually voted in the 2016 election exaggerated the
significance of those numbers by a factor of hundreds of millions, as
revealed by further evidence from Facebook’s own Congressional
further research into an earlier Consortium News article
shows that a relatively paltry 80,000 posts from the private Russian
company Internet Research Agency (IRA) were engulfed in literally
trillions of posts on Facebook over a two-year period before and after
the 2016 vote.
was supposed to have thrown the election, according to the paper of
record. In its 10,000-word article
on Sept. 20, the Times reported that 126 million out of 137 million
American voters were exposed to social media posts on Facebook from IRA
that somehow had a hand in delivering Trump the presidency.
This article supports this, and if you want to read more about my
opinions, try the indexes from 2016
onwards with "Russian Hacking" and "Russia-gate".
Here is more:
The newspaper failed to tell their readers that Facebook
account holders in the United States had been “served” 33 trillion
Facebook posts during that same period — 413 million times more than
the 80,000 posts from the Russian company.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
And now, according to the further research, the odds that
Americans saw any of these IRA ads—let alone were influenced by
them—are even more astronomical. In his Oct. 2017 testimony, Stretch
said that from 2015 to 2017, “Americans using Facebook were exposed to,
or ‘served,’ a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds.”
again. This is a recommended article.
put the 33 trillion figure over two years in perspective, the 80,000
Russian-origin Facebook posts represented just .0000000024 of total
Facebook content in that time.
Bill Would Punish CEOs With Up to 20 Years in Jail for Violating
Consumer Privacy Rules
is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
At the tail end of a
year full of egregious data mining scandals and privacy violations by
corporate giants like Facebook,
that went virtually
in the United States—Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced
a bill on Thursday that would dramatically strengthen internet privacy
protections and hit executives who violate the rules with up to 20
years in prison.
"Today's economy is a giant
vacuum for your personal information—everything you read, everywhere
you go, everything you buy, and everyone you talk to is sucked up in a
corporation's database. But individual Americans know far too little
about how their data is collected, how it's used and how it's
shared," Wyden said in a statement.
"It's time for some
sunshine on this shadowy network of information sharing," the Oregon
senator added. "My bill creates radical transparency for consumers,
gives them new tools to control their information, and backs it up with
tough rules with real teeth to punish companies that abuse Americans'
most private information."
I say! And I repeat
(because I have been saying this for at least six years now),
with boldings added:
"Today's economy is a giant vacuum for your
personal information—everything you read, everywhere you
you buy, and everyone you talk to is sucked up in a
And not only that, but
also in the database of the national security in the USA,
probably everywhere else.
Here is more:
The government, Wyden
notes, has failed to prevent consumers' sensitive information from
being "sold and monetized without their knowledge" and refused to
empower internet users to "control companies' use and sharing of their
According to a summary
(pdf) of the new bill released by Wyden's office on Thursday, the
- Establish minimum
privacy and cybersecurity standards;
- Issue steep fines (up to
four percent of annual revenue), on the first offense for companies and
10-20 year criminal penalties for senior executives;
- Create a national Do Not
Track system that lets consumers stop third-party companies from
tracking them on the web by sharing data, selling data, or targeting
advertisements based on their personal information. It permits
companies to charge consumers who want to use their products and
services, but don't want their information monetized;
- Give consumers a way to
review what personal information a company has about them, learn with
whom it has been shared or sold, and to challenge inaccuracies in it;
- Hire 175 more staff to
police the largely unregulated market for private data;
- Require companies to
assess the algorithms that process consumer data to examine their
impact on accuracy, fairness, bias, discrimination, privacy, and
While Wyden's legislation
is likely to run up against strong opposition from tech giants and the lawmakers
who do their bidding, consumer advocacy groups applauded the new
bill as a crucial first step in the right direction.
Yes, I agree. Then again, I
should add that I think it quite unlikely this proposed law
law, while Wyden does not seem to try to bind the U.S. national
security in any way. But I like the idea, although it is very
my opinion, and 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 (!!).