from January 18, 2019
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 three 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 January 18, 2019:
1. When Do We “Impeach the Motherfucker”?
(With Rashida Tlaib)
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. The Lost Children of the Trump
3. O.K., Google: How Much Money Have I Made for You Today?
4. Barbara Ehrenreich Calls on TSA Workers to
Walk Off Job
5. 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020
Do We “Impeach the Motherfucker”? (With Rashida Tlaib)
This article is by
Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
In the wake of the 2018
midterms, the Democratic Party in Congress is looking a lot more
diverse—not just in terms of gender and ethnicity, but in ideology as
well. There are now actual leftists (a tiny minority, but still), with
ambitious policy agendas and big social media platforms, making noise
and taking no prisoners. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, a self-declared
democratic socialist, is among those newcomers. She wasn’t elected to
Congress to manage the status quo; she was elected to overturn it.
Yes indeed, but I want to
make three remarks of my own that all relate to the background.
First, on the spelling (!!!)
of ¨motherfucker¨. I know this is not a nice term, and it belongs to
the swear words, but I know the term (as a European) for at least
years now, and one of the things I almost wholly fail to understand
(that is, other than as some crazy sort of ritual) is that swear words
that every adult American knows are - nevertheless - written in
a-grammatical format, like ¨m*therf@cker¨
or ¨c*nt¨ (and the second is a term I´ve heard used by very many
women since 50 years know).
So... I like it the
prints it in full, as it is officially written, and my suggestion is
that this should be the norm, at least in all publications addressed to
Second, on the differences
between democratic socialists and social democrats. In
brief, I very
much dislike the social democrats, and especially the Dutch ones
in my eyes is the last 30+ years the biggest illegal drugsdealer in
Holland and Western Europe, and which, in my experience, has only
and hypocrites as members, and mostly follow Blatcherists
anyone else) while I more or less like the democratic socialists,
although this is somewhat complicated because there are many
besides different honesties).
And third, a comment on ¨[t]here are now actual leftists (a tiny
minority, but still)¨: Yes, I quite agree: They are there, but
in a tiny minority, and especially the last fact should be kept in
Now to the text (and
the lacks of indentation are due to The Intercept):
DJT: I am
proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because
the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have
lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So, I will take
the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame
you for it.
now — surprise! — he says it’s all the fault of the Democrats. That’s
what he proclaimed in his live address to the nation from the Oval
Office last week which the TV networks idiotically allowed him to give.
federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason
only: because Democrats will not fund border security.
he has amnesia. Or dementia. Or maybe he’s delusional. I mean, this is
also the same president who told Fox News last Saturday:
Well, I haven’t actually left the White House in months.
months? Are you kidding me? He was in Texas just two days before that
interview. He was in Iraq two weeks before that. Is he demented? Is he
delusional? Is he just a fabulist? But I guess that’s always been the
basic message from this reality-star president: Reality doesn’t matter.
And anyways, who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?
Yes indeed, but since I am
psychologist I do have a remark on Hasan´s ¨Is he demented? Is he delusional? Is he just
a fabulist?¨. My remark is simply
that it is nearly
three years ago (quite a long time before Trump´s election) that
decided that Trump is insane,
and I still think that is - by far, also - the best
explanation for his
extraordinary many lies, accusations, demeanings, denigrations, and the
loads of utter bullshit he produces as Tweets.
Then again, since several
tenthousands of psychologists and quite a number of psychiatrists
so, and since this also made no difference, I think by now that either
psychology is too complicated for the majority (?!) or else
any fair statement on Trump´s mind gets deleted by the editors of the
mainstream papers (who are also not psychologists).
But in any case, that
psychologist´s answer to Hasan´s repeated questions.
Here is more:
your son looks at you and says: “Mama, look, you won. Bullies don’t
win.” And I said: “Baby, they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there
and we’re gonna impeach the motherfucker.”
whether or not you agree with the, uh, colorful language used there,
are we supposed to be upset that a new Democratic member of Congress
wants to impeach Trump, which is what a majority of Democratic voters
want? By the way, Tlaib didn’t just give a speech and swear, she also
co-authored an op-ed that day explaining why we don’t need to wait for
Mueller or the Russia investigation to conclude. There’s already enough
evidence in the public domain of abuse of power, obstruction of
justice, campaign finance violations, the imprisonment of children at
the border to justify impeachment.
But that was all
lost in the brouhaha over her use of the M-word. Republicans were
outraged. Outraged, I tell you!
Yes, I take it that is true.
Then again, anyone who is outraged by swear words but not by
degeneracies - Trump´s government has now kidnapped
of children of refugees seeking asylum - either is thoroughly insane or
is a lying hypocrite.
Also, I think I agree
Tlaib that ¨[t]here’s already
enough evidence in the public domain of abuse of power, obstruction of
justice, campaign finance violations, the imprisonment of children at
the border to justify impeachment¨,
all of which makes Mueller´s Russia investigation itself not very
Here is some more:
RT in front
of crowd: We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach
Referring, of course, to Donald Trump. The media went crazy. Cable news
rolled on it forever. I think there was a study shown that they covered
your comments five times more than they covered Steve King’s racist
remarks in defense of white supremacy, Republican Congressman Steve
King. You even had some Democrats kind of saying, we’re not happy with
this, disowning you. Conservative Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia,
for example said what you said was deplorable and disgusting.
You see, it is much worse
call someone who kidnaps thousands of children (see item
2) ¨a motherfucker¨ than to kidnap thousands of children, that is,
to Manchin and the Republicans.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
And what you so
clearly lay out on that op-ed is you don’t need to wait for Robert
Mueller. There’s enough stuff in the public domain. He does
impeachable stuff on a weekly basis. So just for our listeners, briefly
make the case for why you, what is the main case that you think is for
impeachment? Putting Russia-gate to one side.
The Constitution demands it and I want to reiterate to people to
understand that this is beyond the collusion with Russia. This is
beyond the Mueller investigation. Every single day that he’s President
of United States that has not divested in all of his domestic and
foreign corporations, he’s making decisions not in the best interest of
the American people. He’s making it based on the profit lines. There is
a slippery slope here. If we allow the president United States not
to release his taxes and not to understand where his corporate
interests are, then who’s next after him?
Yes, I basically agree and
this is a strongly recommended article with a lot more.
Lost Children of the Trump Administration
This article is by
The Editorial Board of The New York Times. Because the NYT now
what you will get is a text only version, for I think the NYT does
not or should not have the right to spy on its readers. It
starts as follows:
Last summer, a
federal judge in San Diego said the Trump administration treated
immigrant children detained at the border worse than chattel.
Yes indeed, I quite agree
with Sabraw, and I also want to quote - once again - the reason why I
have called this kidnapping from
the first time I heard from
it. Here is the beginning of the item on kidnapping on
“The unfortunate reality,”
wrote Judge Dana Sabraw in ordering a halt to President Trump’s policy
of separating the children from their parents, “is that under the
present system, migrant children are not accounted for with the same
efficiency and accuracy as property.”
That was underscored on
Thursday when the inspector general of the Department of Health and
Human Services released a report revealing that thousands more children
than previously disclosed may have been torn from their parents for
months before the policy was even announced. The report confirmed that,
as the number of families seeking asylum has soared, the true crisis on
the border was a humanitarian one that the administration’s actions
have made far worse.
And yes, I think
away children from their parents is unlawful in the case of asylum
seekers, and yes, what Trump´s government did was abducting the
children and imprisoning them.
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.
Back to the text:
In an accounting
that resulted from Judge Sabraw’s order, stemming from a legal
challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the government
acknowledged that nearly 3,000 children had been separated from their
parents since the policy was announced. But on top of that, the
inspector general said, thousands more may not have been counted.
This means that it is quite
possible that Trump´s governmental kidnappers kidnapped more than 5000
children (I suppose because Trump feels sure they will all grow
rapist drugsellers and murderers).
Over all, the total number of
children separated at the border is “unknown,” according to the report.
Nor was it clear how many of these children had yet to be reunited with
Judge Sabraw was right when he
wrote that the government’s responses to the chaos it caused “belie
measured and ordered governance, which is central to the concept of due
process enshrined in our Constitution. This is particularly so in the
treatment of migrants, many of whom are asylum seekers and small
And I agree again with Sabraw. This is from the ending of this
In a report released
in October, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general
found its computers had been unable to track family members who had
Yes, I agree though I think that
the appropriate term for the policies of Trump´s government is plain
Such dysfunction goes beyond
mere incompetence. To have so little regard for the damage done to so
many children, for the heartache caused to so many parents, is to
indulge in callousness, if not deliberate cruelty.
Google: How Much Money Have I Made for You Today?
is by Jennifer Szalai
on The New York Times. Because the NYT now publishes articles with ten
version, for I think the NYT does not or should not
have the right to spy on its readers. It starts as follows:
A friend of mine
says that whenever he walks into someone’s home he’s tempted to yell
out, “Hey, Alexa,” or “O.K., Google,” and order 50 pizzas, just to see
if there’s a device listening in on whatever gossip he planned to dish
Yes, I basically agree
and in fact this article is a review of Shoshana Zuboff´s
new book ¨The Age of Surveillance Capitalism¨, and I have one bit of
praise and one bit of criticism on the above quoted passage.
Shoshana Zuboff would
undoubtedly get the joke, but she probably wouldn’t laugh. In “The Age
of Surveillance Capitalism,” she warns against mistaking the soothing
voice of a personal digital assistant for “anything other than the
exploitation of your needs.” The cliché that “if you’re not paying for
it, you’re the product” isn’t alarming enough for her. She likens the
big tech platforms to elephant poachers, and our personal data to ivory
tusks. “You are not the product,” she says. “You are the abandoned
O.K., Zuboff, tell me more.
It’s a testament to how extraordinarily intelligent her book is that by
the time I was compared to an elephant carcass, I resisted the urge to
toss it across the room. Zuboff, a professor emerita of Harvard
Business School and the author of “In the Age of the Smart Machine”
(1988), has a dramatic streak that could come off as simply grandiose
if she didn’t so painstakingly make her case. She says we’re living
through such “a bold and unprecedented shift in capitalist methods”
that even as we encounter the occasional story about Facebook allowing
its corporate clients to read users’ private messages or the software
in Google’s Street View cars scraping unencrypted information from
people’s homes, the American public doesn’t yet grasp the new
dispensation in its entirety.
First, I agree with Zuboff that surveillance capitalism
is something quite new, and that indeed it may be defined as
capitalism + surveillance of everyone by both the spies of
many countries and by the very rich, including Google,
Facebook, Apple and Microsoft (all also with very little apt,
accurate and sensible
Also, in case you want more, I strongly recommend you to read
on cf+ss: corporate fascism and the surveillance state which has a similar thesis, that I
develop in considerable detail in the last article, that in fact was
first published in 2012.
There also is some difference in our positions, but it is good
(certainly for non-readers of her book like myself) that there is
a bit on Wikipedia on surveillance
capitalism, that is attributed to Zuboff.
And second, while I agree that “if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product” is
(a ¨product¨ in what sense?!), I think her “if you’re not paying for it, you’re the abandoned carcass”
also is not good.
In any case, I prefer “if
you’re not paying for it, you’re its slave”, which also is not
always correct, but does describe the basics quite well - and you
slave in the sense that then you will almost certainly be deprived from
all the privacies you thought
Here is some more:
So many people take
care to calibrate their privacy settings just so, sharing certain
things with friends and keeping other things hidden, while their data
still gets collected and shared among apps for possible monetization
now or later. Google and Facebook might not call to mind the belching
smoke stacks and child laborers of the Industrial Revolution, but
Zuboff argues that they’re run by people who have turned out to be just
as ruthless and profit-seeking as any Gilded Age tycoon. Instead of
mining the natural landscape, surveillance capitalists extract their
raw material from human experience.
Quite so - and
they are acting illegally, at least in my sense of the
word, for there is no excuse for setting up e-mails so that all spies
and all rich corporations have no trouble reading them:
That is a fundamental betrayal of all privacy (that meanwhile
has become part of the law, as in the factually neofascistic
¨European Convention on Human Rights¨) - but it was already foreseen
and desired in 1968 (!!) by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was made
of American National Security by President Carter in 1976. For more,
see here: Crisis: propaganda
and Control: Brezezinski 1968.
Here is more:
capitalism has flourished precisely because it fulfills what Zuboff
concedes are real needs and desires. Online platforms offer us ways to
“ease the complexities of our harried lives.” In exchange for
surveillance we get convenience, efficiency and social connection.
This is also mostly correct in
my view, but I do not agree with ¨[s]urveillance capitalism has flourished precisely because
it fulfills what Zuboff concedes are real needs and desires¨ for the simple reason that it flourishes because
it gives those who have the money to use
it extreme insight in and
extreme power over the minds, values, decisions, impressions, ideas,
plans, families and friends of everyone - that also seem
understood by no more than a few percent of the persons involved
(namely those who learned to program quite well).
Google comes in for plenty of
criticism from Zuboff, but she is equally scathing about Facebook. (She
calls Sheryl Sandberg, who worked at Google before becoming Facebook’s
chief operating officer, “the ‘Typhoid Mary’ of surveillance
capitalism.”) Facebook has learned how to manipulate empathy and
attachment in order to increase engagement and make billions. In a
document sent to advertisers in Australia and New Zealand, Facebook
bragged of its ability to discern exactly when a young person could use
a “confidence boost.” And then there are the Facebook scandals
involving Cambridge Analytica and the Kremlin during the 2016 election
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
methodical determination, the way she pieces together sundry examples
into this comprehensive work of scholarship and synthesis, requires
patience, but the rewards are considerable — a heightened sense of
awareness, and a deeper appreciation of what’s at stake. A business
model that seeks growth by cataloging our “every move, emotion,
utterance and desire” is too radical to be taken for granted. As Zuboff
repeatedly says near the end of the book, “It is not O.K.”
Well... this seems typical
of The New York Times. In any case, I would not have said that ¨[a] business model that seeks growth by
cataloging our “every move, emotion, utterance and desire” is too
radical to be taken for granted¨ but I might have said that ¨[a]
business model that seeks growth by
cataloging our “every move, emotion, utterance and desire” is sick,
dictatorial, totally anti-democratic, and the best preparation for
that I know. This is a strongly recommended article
(but do not dowload it, unless you want to be the slave
of The NYT).
Ehrenreich Calls on TSA Workers to Walk Off Job
is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the title. It starts
with the following introduction:
The longest government
shutdown in U.S. history is now on Day 27. As 800,000 workers continue
to go without pay, federal employees around the country are rising up
to demand an end to the shutdown, which has run public institutions
ragged and left hundreds of thousands financially strapped. We speak
with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the best-seller “Nickel and Dimed:
On (Not) Getting By in America.” She is calling for TSA
workers around the country to strike.
Here is first a reference to Barbara
Ehrenreich (who is one of the number of persons I do recall
the Sixties): I like her, and she is also one of those who was raised
in a leftist family and remained a leftist, as is also true of me. She
also called herself ¨a fourth-generation atheist¨ which is also true of
me, at least in the sense that along my father´s line I am a
third-generation atheist, and along my mother´s line a sixth or seventh
(namely since ca. 1855).
Anyway. Here is more:
GOODMAN: The longest
government shutdown in U.S. history is now on Day 27. As 800,000
federal workers continue to go without pay, federal employees around
the country are rising up to demand an end to the shutdown, which has
run public institutions ragged and left hundreds of thousands
financially strapped. On Capitol Hill, federal contractors held a
protest outside the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
and other Republicans, saying the shutdown threatens to deprive some 4
million contract workers of hundreds of millions of dollars in expected
payments. There are reports of skyrocketing absences among federal
workers forced to work without pay.
This is Congressmember
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivering her first speech on the floor of
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: The truth of this shutdown is
that it’s actually not about a wall, it is not about the border, and it
is certainly not about the well-being of everyday Americans. The truth
is, this shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the
subversion of our most basic governmental norms. It is not normal to
hold 800,000 workers’ paychecks hostage. It is not normal to shut down
the government when we don’t get what we want. It is not normal for
public servants to run away and hide from the public that they serve.
And it is certainly not normal to starve the people we serve for a
proposal that is wildly unpopular among the American people.
Yes, I quite agree and I add
that not only is it not normal: In Holland, and I think in (Western)
Europe it is not legal not to pay government workers, and it is
also not legal to force them to work without pay.
Here is some more:
GOODMAN: (...) Well, we
turn now to someone who says it’s time for TSA
workers to strike. In Washington, D.C., we’re joined by Barbara
Ehrenreich, the author of the best-selling book Nickel and Dimed:
On (Not) Getting By in America. She’s also the founder of the
Economic Hardship Reporting Project and recently wrote a piece
for The New York Times headlined “It’s Time for T.S.A.
Workers to Strike.”
Yes, quite so. And in
fact I agree with Ehrenreich: If indeed many of the
would go on strike, this would upset extremely many flights by
managers, and that in turn would put great pressure on the government.
(Then again, I do not know how likely this is.)
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
(...) When Trump said this week, essentially, “You can come back
to work, but, you know, you’ll get paid at some point, we can’t tell
you exactly when, when the shutdown is over,” that’s not how you
respectfully treat American workers. The idea is you work for money;
otherwise, it’s in violation of the 13th Amendment, which bans
involuntary servitude and slavery.
Yes, I quite agree:
¨you work for money;
otherwise, it’s in
violation of the 13th Amendment, which bans involuntary servitude and
slavery¨. And this is a strongly recommended article, in which
Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020
is by RoseAnn DeMoro on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Yes, I basically agree,
and I do so because Sanders is one of the very few Democrats I trust
(he also seems to be the poorest senator) and because I like many of
There are countless
reasons why Bernie Sanders should run
for president in the 2020 election.
But perhaps the threshold
question is what if he does not run? What policy issues would
be off the table? What demands for transformation would be watered
down? The answer is that most progressive initiatives Sanders and his
supporters have championed will
never see the light of day.
Many of us have waited a
lifetime for a leader with so deep a commitment to fundamental change
to come along and galvanize our existing movements. While there will be
a large and diverse field of candidates, the opportunity to elect
someone who has dedicated
his life to economic and social justice also gives us the chance to
bring forth a more perfect union – one genuinely of the people, by
the people, and for the people.
Bernie in 2020, what follows is just a partial catalog of what
disappears or is seriously compromised.
Then again, there is one argument against his competing for the
presidency in 2020, and that is that he will be 79 if he is
Given the choice between Trump and Sanders it will be Sanders for me,
also if he is 80, but I also think that the least this does imply is
that if he does run he needs a good candidate for the
Next, DeMoro gives 10 arguments why she thinks President Sanders would
be quite important. In this review I merely list the titles. If
you want to read the - substantial - texts that come with each heading,
and read them:
An Improved Medicare for All
I agree with all ten points.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
2. A Just Education System and Student Loan
3. More Peaceful Tomorrows and a Less Militaristic
4. Real Regulation of Wall Street and the Robin Hood
5. A Progressive Populist Campaign
The Promise of a Green New Deal That Centers Both the Planet and
7. A Candidate With a
History of Defending Civil Rights
A Feminist Candidate With a Deep Commitment to
and Dignity for All
9. A Warrior
for Voting Rights and Democratic Reform
10. A Candidate Focused on Jobs as Well as the
Workers and Unions That
Will Build a Better Future
Yes, I more or less agree with
this is as well, and this is a strongly recommended article.
And Lastly. A
Chance to Reclaim Our National Dreams
Sanders decides not to run it will be about our missed opportunity,
The chance to elect someone
with such moral courage and clarity of vision is a chance for the
people—and I mean all the people—to reclaim national dreams lost as
well as hopes and promises betrayed.
In other words, because of
his experience and commitment to the common good, he is the most
qualified candidate. Just imagine what it looks like if Bernie wins. A
warrior backing such fine and necessary policies would be a seismic
shift for our lives, this nation, and the world.
As Sanders weighs what must
certainly be the hardest decision of his life, those
of us who believe in him know what we are asking.
We also know this: the
stakes could not be higher.
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 (!!).