from January 7, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
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 7, 2019:
1. We Should Be Able to Take Facebook to
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:
Are Ascendant in Donald Trump's America
3. 10 Cataclysmic Scenarios if We Fail to Control Climate
4. Robert De Niro calls ‘huckster … no substance’ Trump on his
5. How Capitalism Is Killing Us
Should Be Able to Take Facebook to Court
This article is by
Neema Singh Giuliani on The New York Times. It also has a subtitle:
A privacy violation
is a real harm.
I quote this subtitle -
which I think is or ought to be evident to all rational
living adults - because this is the second time in two days
that I downloaded an article that takes around 20 Kb of text (in
total) but comes in a file of nearly 234 Kb, with 214 Kb being filled
I decided I will not copy directly anymore from The New York
Times, because I very strongly dislike being followed by
undeclared code (that is also very difficult to read), simply because for
me personal privacy comes first,
whereas for The
New York Times (as for Facebook and Google and more, it seems) getting
to know as much about anyone reading an article on it comes first.
That is: I think The New York Times is quite purposively doing me
and every other reader of it "real harm", simply because they are
trying to learn as much about their readers as they can, which these
days is very far beyond the decency level
(I would say).
This also explains why links are missing. (I could include them, but
this is more work for me, and as The New York Times anyway refers
mostly to its privacies-stealing self, I decided not to do this.)
Here is more:
After The New York
Times revealed last month that Facebook continued to share personal
information of millions of consumers with companies like Netflix,
Yahoo, Spotify and Google — despite contrary assertions to Congress —
many people decided to delete their Facebook accounts. But if
Facebook’s actions, as described by The Times, violated the law,
consumers should be able to send an even more powerful message, one
that could leave a much larger imprint on the company’s ledger books:
suing the company for damages.
That is, the morally
totally degenerate neofascistic Facebook
insist that they can steal all the privacies they want to steal from
over 2 billion of its members, but none of its members are - according
to the sick and degenerate neofascistic Facebook - are even allowed to
go to the law unless they can prove "that the lawbreaking practice caused
additional harm" (which
will be difficult or impossible, because the neofascistic Facebook regards everything it
steals as its private and secret property).
Facebook knows this and has
been working to make it near impossible to do so.
For example, consumers
recently filed a lawsuit in Illinois claiming Facebook violated a state
privacy law by using facial recognition technology on their uploaded
photographs without their consent. Facebook is fighting the lawsuit by
trying to get the court to buy into troubling arguments that would make
it even more difficult for consumers to sue lawbreaking companies for
Facebook is arguing that the
law at issue doesn’t grant consumers the ability to sue companies,
otherwise known as a “private right of action,” based solely on the
fact that a company violated the law. Instead, according to Facebook,
consumers should have to show that the lawbreaking practice caused
additional harm beyond a mere violation to get their day in court and
This is like argueing that if you find someone who broke
into your house before he could steal anything, he should be released
and not prosecuted because you found
him before he stole anything - but
with this difference that Facebook did
steal the privacies of all its members.
Here is more:
It’s not the first
seen this argument, and other companies have made similar arguments in
privacy lawsuits. In addition, major industry players, including the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have put forward similar views. They are
fighting legislation that would grant consumers the ability to sue
companies for privacy violations and are lobbying for federal privacy
legislation where enforcement is tied only to “concrete” harm, not
necessarily to violations of the law.
That is to say: Facebook,
probably Google, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce insist on stealing
the privacies of billions of users of the
internet in order to make
their own billions in profits based on these billions of thefts,
also want to change the law so that those whose privacies they stole
are not even able to prosecute them legally.
It’s easy to see why.
Here is more:
[I]n most cases,
the harm, while staggering, can be virtually impossible to measure. For
example, how do you prove the collective impact of having companies
profile you based on sensitive health data, affecting things like the
content you see and the ads you’re served? How do you measure the
national-security or societal impact of having people targeted with
divisive and exploitative ads? How do you determine the collective
impact of consumers’ being stripped of control over information they
own and having intimate details of their life, like relationship status
and political views, shared with countless entities?
This is true in one sense - and
you will never be able to say how many millions
Zuckerberg earned in his private profits from stealing your private information and
the private information of your family and
your friends, simply because what Facebook stole is - according to
Facebook - the private property of Facebook, but then again I have been
argueing from the beginning that no one
has the right to steal any private
information from anyone (except in case of a criminal suspicion, and
then overseen by a judge).
Here is more:
Under the view that
consumers must show “concrete” harm, it would not be enough to show
that a company violated the law by, for example, sharing information
without permission. And it would not be enough to show that millions of
consumers were affected or that billions of pieces of information were
improperly shared. For a fine or damages to be imposed, consumers would
instead have the difficult burden of demonstrating that the unlawful
collection of their own data damaged them in a tangible and measurable
way, like causing physical, emotional or financial harm.
In other words: According to
Facebook, Facebook can
steal the privacies of more than 2 billion persons (most of whom can't
even program); insists that once stolen these
privacies are the private
property of Facebook, which can do whatever it pleases with
without any regard for the private interests of those they stole the
privacies from, and also totally uncontrollable for them; and insists
they are free to steal the privacies of billions, but each and
of these billions are subhumans who have no right
to know what Facebook
gathered about them; have no right to
know what Facebook does with
their privacies; and also should not have any
right to complain about
the thieves from Facebook.
Why not simply pronounce everyone a criminal with no
rights whatsoever, except for those
persons who earned more than 75
billion dollars or are corporations (which are persons according to
the Supreme Court)?!
Are Ascendant in Donald Trump's America
This article is by
Jacob Sugarman on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
As Stephen Wertheim argues
in The New
York Review of Books, the neoconservatives are ascendant in Trump’s
America, reasserting themselves within GOP and, more troublingly,
renewing their ties to the Democratic Party. Together they constitute
the “neo-neoconservatives” or “post-neoconservatives,” as he’s dubbed
are riding high once more, in the White House, on Capitol Hill, in the
most prominent organs of opinion,” Wertheim writes. “The Weekly
Standard may have shuttered, but anti-Trump neocons enjoy
increasing influence in the center of the Republican and Democratic
parties and in publications like The Atlantic
and The Washington Post.”
In fact, I
reviewed Wertheim's article on January 5,
and found it almost completely unreadable, indeed mostly
because he doesn't define "conservatives", doesn't define
"neoconservatives", doesn't define "neo-neoconservatives", doesn't define "post- neoconservatives" - but insists he knows all manner of things about
Jacob Sugarman is "the acting managing editor" of Truthdig (which is,
in my opinion, together with Common Dreams, the best leftist
political magazine in English that I know), but he also seems to know
what Wertheim speaks about without the least definition or
clarification on Sugarman's part.
Here is more from this article:
In ordinary English, there is at
least a slight difference in meaning between any term X and its
quotation (as "X") but neither Sugarman nor Wertheim seems to see any
difference between "totalitarianism" and totalitarianism (and both
leave both terms totally undefined).
Trump’s presidency has
a clarifying moment. “[He] has forced neoconservatives to decide,
for the first time, whether they are more against ‘totalitarianism’ or
‘globalism,'” continues Wertheim. “If anti-totalitarians take Trump to
be perverting what they hold dear, anti-globalist neocons have found in
Trump a kindred spirit and vehicle for power. Yet, even as they are
fracturing, neocons are flourishing. They have bypassed the political
wilderness and vaulted themselves to the vanguard on either side of the
And I am sorry, but I find this very unclear. Perhaps this is
because I studied logic
(as extremely few journalists do)?
In any case, I find in the last quotation at least six terms
(in a single sentence) that should have been defined somehow
but are not. I am sorry, again, but I - really!
- do not
Here is the last bit that I quote:
All I can deduce from this is
that Wertheim and/or Sugarman doesn't like the three people named.
Otherwise, this is as unclear as Wertheim's original article.
For Republican apostates
Jennifer Rubin, David Frum and Max Boot, Wertheim contends, the
president has offered the “next best thing” to a foreign dictator: “an
enemy within.” His personal degeneracy and unabashed corruption have
allowed them to “reclaim their preferred role as the moral
truth-tellers in America.”
Cataclysmic Scenarios if We Fail to Control Climate Change
This article is by Lorraine Chow
on Truthdig and originally on the Independent Media Institute. This is
from near its beginning:
Globally, 2018 is on pace
be the fourth-hottest year on record. Only 2015, 2016 and 2017 were
hotter. The Paris climate agreement aims to hold temperature rise below
1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius, but if humankind carries on its
business-as-usual approach to climate change, there’s a 93
percent chance we’re barreling toward a
world that is 4 degrees Celsius warmer by the end of the century, a
potentially catastrophic level of warming.
Yes indeed - and since I do
maintain that at least since 1972 (when "The Limits
to Growth" first appeared, which I also read then) has for
the most part carried "on its
business-as-usual approach to climate change", I fear that this business-as-usual will continue.
Here is more (and 1992 is
meanwhile 27 years ago):
In 1992, 1,700 scientists
around the world issued a chilling “warning
to humanity.” The infamous letter declared that humans were on
a “collision course” with the natural world if they did not rein in
their environmentally damaging activities.
Such apocalyptic thinking
might be easy to mock, and not entirely helpful in inspiring political
action if end times are nigh. In 2017, however, more than 15,000
scientists from 184 countries co-signed their names to an updated—and
even bleaker—version of the 1992 manifesto.
The latest version,
titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice,”
asserts that most of the environmental challenges raised in the
original letter—i.e., depletion of freshwater sources, overfishing,
plummeting biodiversity, unsustainable human population growth—remain
unsolved and are “getting far worse.”
“Especially troubling is
the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due
to rising [greenhouse gases] from burning fossil fuels, deforestation,
and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for
meat consumption,” the paper states.
“Moreover,” the authors
wrote, “We have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly
540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated
or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century.”
Yes, I think this is all
true. Here is more:
More recently, President
Trump’s own administration released on November 23 the 1,600-page Fourth National Climate
Assessment, a quadrennial report compiled by 13 federal
agencies. This report paints a particularly grim picture, including
more frequent droughts, floods, wildfires and extreme weather,
declining crop yields, the rise of disease-carrying insects and rising
seas—all of which could reduce
U.S. gross domestic product by a tenth by the end of the century.
So what we saw this summer?
Unless humanity gets its act together, we can expect much worse to
come. Here’s a peek into our climate-addled future.
Next, there are 10
"cataclysmic scenarios" that probably will be realized in the
next fifty to a hundred years if what's done to the climate is as
decisive as what was done to the climate since 1972 (or 1959, which is when Aldous Huxley
about ecology in "The Human Situation").
I can strongly
recommend you read all of them, but the present review is too small to
review any of the texts associated with the titles, and for that reason
you only get the titles in this review:
Food Insecurity and
Farewell to Coastal
Cities and Island Nations
Social Conflict and Mass
Frequent, More Intense
Melted Polar Ice and
The Spread of Pathogens
As I said, all of the
above titles come with texts that are quite important. To read them go here and click on the title.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this excellent article:
I agree again, and this is a
very fine article that is strongly recommended.
Half a Degree
Since the 19th century, the
Earth has warmed by 1 degree Celsius. Now, a major IPCC special report released in
October warns that even just a half-degree more of warming could be
disastrous. “Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since
warming of 1.5şC or higher increases the risk associated with
long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some
Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of IPCC Working Group II.
The panel said
that “limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C could go hand in
hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society.”
With President Trump saying
believe his own administration’s climate report, that
sustainable and equitable society remains a distant dream.
De Niro calls ‘huckster … no substance’ Trump on his ‘bullsh*t’
is by Elizabeth Preza on AlterNet. It starts as follows (and is in fact
a short version of a longer article, written by someone else, on The
Guardian, which I cannot copy anymore without excessive trouble, which
makes me despise the Blatcherist The
Guardian, but OK):
In fact, I agree with De Niro,
except that I would call Trump a neofascist
(and the last link is to a proper definition, and Trump has
agreed with each of its 10 characteristics).
Academy Award winner Robert De Niro unloaded on Donald Trump in a
scathing interview published Sunday by the Guardian, calling the
president both a white supremacist and a “buffoon.”
Niro said that when Trump was originally elected, “I thought, well, OK,
let’s see what he does – maybe he’ll change.”
he just got worse,” De Niro explained. “It showed me that he is a real
racist. I thought maybe as a New Yorker he understands the diversity in
the city but he’s as bad as I thought he was before – and much worse.
It’s a shame. It’s a bad thing in this country.”
Trump as a white supremacist, De Niro mused that the president could
also qualify as a fascist.
Here is more:
I think I mostly agree
again, although I do have an explanation that satisfies me
for the - correct - fact that tens of millions of American voters "don’t see that": These voters are too stupid or too ignorant (or
both) for clear rational and informed judgements on American politics
Niro also recalled Trump’s attack on former personal attorney Michael
Cohen, who the president described as a “rat” for cooperating with
mean, a mob boss calls people ‘a rat,’” De Niro—who played Al Capone in
the 1987 film “The Untouchables”—explained. “That means you lied and
somebody snitched on you, so you did commit the crime.”
that’s interesting and he makes mobsters look bad because there are
mobsters who will shake your hand and keep their word,” the actor
continued. “He can’t even do that.”
a con artist,” he added. “He’s a huckster. He’s a scam artist. And what
bothers me is that people don’t see that.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I have stated my
explanation for the fact that (some) "people fall for it" (which I fear
will not be popular because it may offend people) and I think I
disagree with De Niro's “He’s
not even evil. He’s mundane."
not even evil,” De Niro declared. He’s mundane.”
things that Trump has done; if Obama had done one fiftieth, they’d be
all over him,” De Niro said, arguing Democrats “have to be more
have to fight fire with fire,” De Niro insisted. “You’ve got to say:
‘I’m sorry – let’s call a spade a spade. You are who you are and we’ve
got to confront you at your own game and that’s what’s needed.’ You can
do it in a nice way but you have to be hard and tough about it.”
need somebody who’s strong enough to outmouth him, because that’s all
he is—mouth,” De Niro said. “And smart enough and well-informed enough
in a debate, say, to override all that nonsense that he does, because
basically it’s just name-calling. He has no substance. I don’t know how
people fall for it.
My reasons are that Trump is not mundane (as I use that
term), while I also think that, at least in those who have read some
philosophy and theology, he is an excellent candidate (in my
opinion) for an evil
person. Then again, there are quite a few different meanings of
Capitalism Is Killing Us
is by Belén Fernández on Common Dreams and originally on Al-Jazeera
English. This is from near its beginning:
2017 statement from the United Nations Special
Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights notes that, while the US
manages to spend "more [money] on national defence than China, Saudi
Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan combined", US
infant mortality rates were, as of 2013, "the highest in the developed
Rapporteur provides a barrage of other details from his own visit to
the US, during which he was able to observe the country's "bid to
become the most unequal society in the world" - with some 40 million
people living in poverty - as well as assess "soaring death rates and
family and community destruction wrought by prescription and other drug
Capitalism, it seems,
is a deadly business indeed.
with Fernández (and would
suggest that "US infant mortality rates" in 2013 "were the highest in the developed
world" precisely because over half of the taxes gathered in the
USA go to the Pentagon rather than the American people).
Here is more:
loneliness is in fact life-threatening meanwhile
suggest that the neoliberal dismantling of interpersonal bonds and
increasing isolation of the individual may also be inconducive to
I think I mostly agree, but
would have to explain a lot to make this clear, which I do not
have the time and space to do in this Nederlog.
compounded by the commodification of every aspect of existence and the
enshrinement of consumerist materialism as a way of life, not to
mention ubiquitous technological distraction and the conversion of
human populations into cell phone-glued automatons.
Add to the toxic mix
an all-powerful pharmaceutical
industry - for which a nation of depressed
and otherwise afflicted individuals is an obvious financial boon - and
the future appears bleaker than ever.
Here is more:
Of course, it's not
just bodies and communities that the US brand of capitalism is
destroying at home and abroad; it's also the planet itself. Overconsumption,
unbridled contamination, and resource exploitation have put us on a
fast track to a "point
of no return", as climate scientists have warned.
in 1989, US economist Paul Sweezy described capitalism's
view of the natural environment "not as something
to be cherished and enjoyed but as a means to the paramount ends of
profit-making and still more capital accumulation".
His summary of the
major elements of the environmental crisis already under way three
decades ago - from the greenhouse effect brought on by massive
fossil-fuel combustion to the pernicious fallout of "predatory
agricultural methods" to the "mounting pollution of the oceans once
thought to be an infinite repository of all kinds of wastes" - raises
the question of whether the point of no return may be already long gone.
Yes, I mostly agree,
although I would say that "the
environmental crisis" was
already under way in the 1950ies (and see Aldous Huxley's
1959 "The Human Situation", and Rachel Carson's
Spring" in case you doubt this).
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes, I fear I agree - and I say
"I fear" for the simple reason that most attempted revolutions failed to achieve what the
revolutionists desired. And this is a strongly
And while Trump's
assault on the environment is mirrored by ultra-right counterparts
across the globe - like Brazil's new president Jair
Bolsonaro, who has pledged
to put an end to the Amazon rainforest as we know it - Dawson stresses
that the "ideological opening" for such leaders was facilitated
internationally by "centrist and even leftist governments… that
remained wedded to fossil capitalism over the last couple of decades".
It bears emphasising,
too, that, in the US, enthusiastic bipartisan support for war - a
pillar of the imperialist enterprise - translates into not only mass
death for people on the receiving end of bombs and drone attacks, but
also large-scale environmental poisoning. As Newsweek observed
in 2014, the US Defence Department is one of the top polluters on the
Now, as capitalism
continues to kill us, the only real solution - however improbable - is
to kill capitalism.
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 (!!).