in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from February 2, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 February 2, 2019:
1. New Site Exposes How Apple Censors Apps
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 Border Story Our Leaders Don’t
Want You to Hear
Congressional Hearings That Are Shamefully Overdue
4. A Yale
psychiatrist warns Trump will resort to ‘extreme measures’
Less Than Fate of the Internet'
Site Exposes How Apple Censors Apps in China
This article is by
Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Well... what shall I say?
A new website
exposes the extent to which Apple cooperates with Chinese government
internet censorship, blocking access to Western news sources,
information about human rights and religious freedoms, and
privacy-enhancing apps that would circumvent the country’s pervasive
online surveillance regime.
The new site, AppleCensorship.com, allows
users to check which apps are not accessible to people in China through
Apple’s app store, indicating those that have been banned. It was
created by researchers at GreatFire.org, an organization that monitors
Chinese government internet censorship.
In late 2017,
to U.S. senators that it had removed from its app store in China more
than 600 “virtual private network” apps that allow users to evade
censorship and online spying. But the company never disclosed which
specific apps it removed — nor did it reveal other services it had
pulled from its app store at the behest of China’s authoritarian
In addition to
the hundreds of VPN apps, Apple is currently preventing its users in
China from downloading apps from news organizations, including the New
York Times, Radio Free Asia, Tibetan News, and Voice of Tibet. It is
also blocking censorship circumvention tools like Tor and Psiphon;
Google’s search app and Google Earth; an app called Bitter Winter,
which provides information about human rights and religious freedoms in
China; and an app operated by the Central Tibetan Authority, which
provides information about Tibetan human rights and social issues.
I think this: The above is a truly frightful list of how
actively helping the Chinese Communist Party to repress more than one
billion Chinese. And I add that I am not
amazed at all: I
think since 20 years (at least) that Apple in fact only looks at
its own profits, and is prepared
to lie about anything.
(And no, I never owned an Apple, never want to own an Apple, and only
very briefly used some of them in the university, in the 1980ies.)
Here is a part of the reasons how Apple can do this
(functioning as an
arm of the Chinese communist security system):
Indeed. To generalize
this a little to something that is also true of Microsoft: Apple tells
non-Apple folks and its own users and buyers as
little as possible
about their own policies, plans and actions.
Some bans –
such as those of
apps and the Times
– have received media coverage in the past, but many never generate
news headlines. Charlie Smith, a co-founder of GreatFire.org, told The
Intercept that the group was motivated to launch the website because
“Apple provides little transparency into what it censors in its app
store. Most developers find out their app has been censored after they
see a drop in China traffic and try to figure out if there is a
problem. We wanted to bring transparency to what they are censoring.”
said that the
website was still in a beta phase of early development, added that
until now, it was not easy to check exactly which apps Apple had
removed from its app stores in different parts of the world. For
example, he said, “now we can see that the top 100 VPN apps in the U.S.
app store are all not available in the China app store.”
Here is more about Apple:
In other words: Apple
will work for communists or for
fascists or muslims or anyone else
without the least problem (except perhaps in lies by a few of its
leaders) as long as Apple profits
An Apple spokesperson
to address removals of specific apps from China, but pointed to the
company’s app store review
guidelines, which state: “Apps must comply with all legal
requirements in any location where you make them available.”
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Evidently Cook was lying: You cannot
believe in privacy or human rights when your own machines and
software actively ruin the privacies and human rights of more than a
billion of Chinese. Then again, I am sure this betrayal of
freedom, privacy and human rights undoubtedly will be very
profitable for Apple and Cook. And this is a strongly
Tim Cook has
presented himself as a defender of users’ privacy. During a speech in
October last year, Cook declared, “We
at Apple believe that privacy is a fundamental human right.” It is
unclear how Cook reconciles that sentiment with Apple’s removal of
privacy-enhancing software from its app store in China, which helps
ensure that the country’s government can continue to monitor its
citizens and crack down on opponents.
Border Story Our Leaders Don’t
Want You to Hear
This article is by
Robert Scheer on Truthdig. This is from the beginning of the interview:
Robert Scheer: Hi,
this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence. And
we’re taking a topic that is of great political, national security
concern. And I’m talking to someone who’s written a book that is
basically a book of poetry and memory: Octavio Solis. And the book is
I like Robert Scheer and that is the
reason why I review this article. And I should say directly that while
I am quite sympathetic to migrants, I also think Solis makes some
mistakes. In fact, here is the first:
always been here. Humans, like the buffalo, like birds, like
butterflies, are a migratory animal. We move all the time. And for
centuries, we moved freely without borders, up and down this continent
and into the next continent, and over rivers and streams and
territories. And never had to deal with a border until it was declared
that in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, around 1848, designating the
Rio Grande as the border between the U.S. and Mexico. And still, people
found a way to get across. Still people found a way to move to both
sides of that river, because communities were there, families were
there, opportunity was there. And they were there to make new lives, to
escape war and strife and poverty and need, droughts and famine. That’s
sort of the story of peoples around the world. It’s going on now.
Well... yes and no, but
Yes, many humans have
migrated and are trying to migrate, often because of war or repression
or poverty in the territories they lived in. But no, saying
are a migratory animal, and insisting that this should go on, and
appealing to the fact that most borders (plus securities, plus
passports) date back to the 1850ies or the early parts of the 20th
century, does not do justice to the real situation and the real
Since I am a European and not
an American, I will talk about Europe: As far as I can see, there
at least - tens of millions of non-Europeans who would love to be
Europeans, especially in Western Europe, and they are trying their
to get in.
The problem is - rather
simply - that there are far more willing to immigrate into Europe than
there are places for immigrants in Europe. I also think this will
always be the case as long as (Western) Europe offers far
chances to live and find work than the countries were these immigrants
And mind you: I do not
this is good or desirable, but I think it is true. Also, I
dislike the problem, but I am also convinced that saying something like
"Let everyone who desires to migrate to Europe, migrate to Europe" will
- if it were to get practiced - soon cause great problems in Europe.
Finally, in case someone
wants to object that the situation in the USA is quite different from
that in Europe: I quite agree.
Here is some more by Solis:
Because it’s actually gotten worse because of this, because we are now
as Mexican-Americans, and especially as Dreamers, we’ve become chips in
this bargaining game to build this wall. And it’s become a symbol for a
redefinition of what it means to be an American. And we are offended by
that, we are confused by that, because we thought that we had the same
rights and privileges as everyone. But living where I’ve been living,
those things were always complicated. They were never simple. I was
raised by American teachers in my elementary school to recite
word-for-word the Pledge of Allegiance, every morning, hand over heart,
and to know what that meant, so that we would understand what it meant
to be American. But on the street, that was always questioned. We were
always asked by the Border Patrol cruisers that went around, by the
people in them, the officers in them, we were always asked to offer up
our American citizenship, questioned about where we lived, asked to
recite the Pledge of Allegiance to them, in order to prove that we were
Americans. And that always kind of set it in question.
I think this is mostly true,
and clearly the Border Patrol cruisers were demeaning and
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
something incredibly honest about the way you wrote this book. “Memory
is its own muse.” I’m quoting from your book. “Every time we recall a
specific moment in our past, we remember it differently. We embellish
upon it, we turn it into a story or a fable, something that will draw a
straighter line between the person we were then and who we are now.
Consciously or unconsciously, we trim away the details that seem
inconsequential in order to endow the things we remember with greater
clarity, with even more weight and significance."
I am sorry, but I
It so happens that I
have a very good visual memory, and that I have mental films
from very many aspects of my life, starting at age 4 and, while
not want to deny there is or may be some editing in the memories of my
life, I am rather certain that most of the mental films I do have
(which most people I know simply do not have) are more or
less as I saw
Besides, the mental
films I do have remained the same (while they could
have been edited to
be far more pleasant to my self), which I know because they
appear the same, sometimes for over fifty years or more,
while my own
feelings and values may have (and sometimes did) considerably alter.
Finally, I note two
related things. First, this probably is rather specific to myself,
because I do have visual memories that tend to be much sharper than the
memories of people who experienced the same things as I did. And
second, I think that my memories of things that happened to me are
fairly accurate, and while I do not want to dogmatize about the
memories of others, all reports about the failures or successes of
one's own memories are personal and extremely difficult or impossible
Congressional Hearings That Are Shamefully Overdue
is by Ralph Nader
on Truthdig, and originally on Common Dreams. It
starts as follows:
I like and admire Nader,
and I did review “It’s Your Congress, People!” Make it work
for you!": You will find it under the last link, and it bears
Earlier this month I wrote
a column listing 12 major redirections or reforms that most people want
for our country (see: “It’s
Your Congress, People!” Make it work for you!). All of which
require action by Congress—the gate-keeper. Now Congress must
hold informative and investigative public hearings to inform the media
and to alert and empower the people.
The U.S. Government
Publishing Office (GPO) explains a congressional hearing as follows:
“A hearing is a meeting or
session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress,
usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on
proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the
activities of a government department or the implementation of a
Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in
nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest.”
Here are my suggestions for
a dozen long-overdue hearings in the House of Representatives, now run
by the Democrats:
And I strongly likes Nader's suggestions "for a dozen long-overdue hearings in the
Representatives". In fact, here
they are, although with quite a few deletions indicated by "(..)".
In case you want to read Nader's original articles, here are two links:
The first is to the first article mentioned in the previous paragraph,
which is here,
and the second to the present article, which is here.
This is my excerpt from the list of hearings Nader desires:
As I said, there are quite a few
bits of text missing in this summary, but I completely agree
with Nader, and would much like to see/read about these
hearings, if they are going to be held.
- Hearings on the
corporate crime wave, which is often reported by the mass media. (..)
- Hearings on the causes
of poverty – e.g. the frozen minimum wage, tens of millions uninsured
or underinsured for health care, unaffordable housing, criminal justice
reform, and low utilization of tort law. (..)
- Hearings on the need to
fund the small Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to
provide in-house advice to Congress about big technological/scientific
decisions – whether the boondoggle ballistic missile defense,
electromagnetic or cyber-attacks, driverless car hype, runaway
artificial intelligence, nanotech, biotech (..)
- Hearings on the
overwhelming tilt into speculation, rather than investment, by the
financial markets (e.g. Wall Street). (..)
- Hearings on consumer
protection – the myriad of recent controls and manipulation of
consumers and their spending, savings and credit, along with the first
real investigation of contract fine-print servitude or peonage. (..)
- Hearings on fundamental
reform of our tax laws. Aggressively examining our tax laws’ perverse
incentives, unjust escapes, privileges and immunities, and estimated
(by the IRS) $400 billion a year of uncollected tax revenue will
enlighten taxpayers and members of Congress. (..)
- Hearings reviewing and
evaluating our failed military and foreign policies – their costs,
their boomerangs, and their unlawful violent impact on innocent peoples
and communities abroad are vital.
- Hearings on the planet’s
environmental disruptions from the climate crisis to water usage, to
soil erosion, deforestation, and the oceans’ pollution and
deoxygenation could increase grassroots action.
- Hearings on electoral
reforms – dealing with campaign finance corruption to gerrymandering,
to voter repression, ballot access obstruction, unequal treatments, and
more might really help to “drain the swamp.”
- Hearings on needed and
unneeded government-funded and operated projects, including varieties
of infrastructure or public works and how to make them more efficient
and clean will make the case for rebuilding our communities.
- Hearings on shifts of
power from the few to the many, so long denied and abused will help
empower the people to more easily band together as workers, consumers,
small taxpayers, voters, litigants and as audiences of the public
airwaves and cable channels.
- Hearings on the benefits
of opening up an increasingly closed Congress, with concentrated power
in the four leaders of the House and Senate at the expense of committee
and subcommittee chairs as well as individual members. Doing so will
help make Congress more accountable for the people. (..)
Here is the end of Nader's article:
Yes indeed, and this is a strongly
There you have it—people,
citizens, voters, students and teachers. We need these and other such
Congressional hearings to make up for the years of deliberate inaction
and avoidance. Send your Senators and Representative your suggestions
and the above list. Demand more production from their $5 billion a year
Yale psychiatrist warns Trump will
resort to ‘extreme measures’
is by Tana Ganeva on AlterNet, and originally on Raw Story. It starts
I think all of the above
is correct. Also, I reviewed this year an earlier interview of Bandy
Lee by Tara Ganeva, and I think it makes sense to reread that
interview - it is here - at least if
you want to understand my psychologist's reactions to psychiatry,
I summarized in the earlier interview in these terms:
On Thursday, President
Donald Trump declared that he was not concerned about Special Counsel
Robert Mueller’s probe.
He claimed that
departing Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein had told him
he was not a person of interest in the investigation.
“He told the attorneys that
I’m not a subject, I’m not a target,” Mr. Trump told the New
Nevertheless, the probe
seems to be circling closer to the president and his family.
Raw Story spoke with Yale psychiatrist Bandy X.
Lee about how the latest developments are likely to impact the
president. Lee’s views are her own, not a reflection of Yale’s position.
So while I agree
with Bandy Lee about her diagnosis of Trump,
I certainly disagree with her about the scientific status of
psychiatry - which, incidentally, is something I do have in common
with most psychologist who got their education around my time,
Holland (at least then) most psychologists thought that psychiatry is
either not wellfounded or else a pseudoscience, and indeed in my
the majority of psychologists did not get any
psychiatry apart from one book of Freud.
There is considerably more in my earlier review, which is the reason I
recommend (re)reading it.
Here is more from the present article:
Well... I said already
that I agree with Lee about her diagnosis, but the above bits are
speculative. They may indeed be true, but I do not think there is
strong evidence for this.
Bandy X. Lee: His anxieties
are palpable, as he resorts to more and more extreme measures and
unreal justifications for building a wall. We had the extended shutdown
that put us at real security risk, according to the FBI, and declaring
a national emergency is a very real possibility.
He needs to maintain his
shrinking base as well as to give himself a sense of victory, and he
will go to all lengths to achieve it. What concerns me, however, is our
own lack of readiness for when the real crisis comes.
With all the negative news for Mr. Trump, “rational” people may feel
relief, as he is finally held to account, but while being driven to a
corner, the president’s only desperate remaining diversion may be war.
Forces around the globe—the Israelis and the Saudis, for example—want
that for their own reasons, and with a foreign policy team that now
reflects his psychology, times could turn incredibly dangerous.
Here is some more from the article:
These are almost only
questions. I will say this about them:
Bandy X. Lee: So it is
society, and we are now living a situation where a mental health crisis
is engulfing the nation, and we scarcely recognize it as a mental
health issue. Do we really know, for example, what it is like to lack a
basic human characteristic, such as empathy, and be willing to destroy
lives for the most casual reasons? Do we really appreciate what it is
like to be so impulsive that one cannot think of consequences, no
matter how dire? Can we understand how attractive violence can be to
certain personality structures under stress, and what severe
interventions are necessary? Do we know how close we are to nuclear
war—and a nuclear winter would dwarf the current bitter cold of the
arctic vortex—even without mental instability in the president?
(1) the answers psychiatrists will give to these questions will
lot, and (2) will very probably differ substantially from
psychologists will give to these questions, which wil
also vary a lot,
while (3) I do insist on the fact that I think psychiatrists
psychologists know some more about human psychology than those who
didn't study these subjects, but (4) I do not
think anyone knows much
about human psychology that has any certainty.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I quite agree on
this with Lee, and this is a recommended article.
Bandy X. Lee: [T]he
American Psychiatric Association converted the perfectly reasonable
Goldwater rule (the guideline against diagnosing public figures without
a personal examination) into a gag order (a prohibition against making
any comment of any kind on a public figure) shortly after Mr. Trump’s
inauguration, so that no one could speak.
The American Psychological
Association then came out with its own affirmation of that position.
This showed that even mental health associations are behaving more like
power structures that buttress other power structures, rather than
representing a medical profession.
Fate of the Internet'
is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It
starts as follows:
I think the above is all
correct, but I should add that I am not hopeful. Here is some
Advocates of net neutrality
had their eyes on a federal court on Friday, where the showdown over
the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of the Obama-era
open internet protections continued.
At the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia, oral arguments in Mozilla v.
FCC were heard. In that suit, which The Verge frames
as "one of the most important cases in internet law history,"
technology and advocacy groups joined by over 20 state attorneys
general challenge the FCC's 2017 gutting
of net neutrality.
"The appeals court judges
today heard in full detail just how awful a job the Trump FCC did," said
Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press.
While the case covered
"complex issues," said FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who voiced
opposition to the repeal of net neutrality, one thing is quite
clear. She said "the court now has a chance to right what the
@FCC got wrong when it made the misguided decision to roll back
#NetNeutrality. I sat through it all. I'm hopeful."
The stakes of the case
huge, say open internet defenders. "Without protecting net neutrality,"
Mozilla's chief operating officer, Denelle Dixon, told
the Washington Post, broadband
providers "will control the internet experiences of everyone. And that
cannot be what happens."
above. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Well... I hope net
neutrality will be restored, but I do not expect it (as a
this is a strongly recommended article.
Following Friday's oral
arguments, Michael Copps, a former FCC commissioner who now serves as a
special advisor to advocacy group Common Cause, said, "Our side's
pro-net neutrality arguments before court today were light years more
compelling than the time-worn and discredited arguments of those who
oppose a truly open internet. And the Courts have agreed with us, twice
upholding the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules."
He went on to urge the
court "to vacate the FCC's reckless repeal and return to the sound
legal framework that ensures the internet is free and open for
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 (!!).