in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from March 30, 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 March 30, 2019:
1. Senate Vote Against Climate Plan
Was Attempt to Stifle Growing
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
everyorning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. Chelsea Manning Has Sacrificed
3. Redacted Mueller Report Expected to Be Released by Mid-April
4. Surveillance capitalism is the newest threat to democracy
5. Mueller Finally Gives up His Two Year Search
Vote Against Climate Plan Was Attempt to Stifle Growing Momentum
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the
title. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. Here is some
In a move Congressmember
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called a “bluff vote,” the Senate rejected the
Green New Deal on Tuesday, after 43 Democrats voted “present” on the
measure introduced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell. Four other Democrats joined all 53 Republican senators in
voting against the Green New Deal. As Democrats blast McConnell’s move
to push the procedural vote, we speak to one of the lead policy writers
for the Green New Deal, a proposal to transform the U.S. economy by
funding renewable energy while ending U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by
2030. Rhiana Gunn-Wright is the policy director for the nonprofit New
GOODMAN: On Tuesday,
Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah ridiculed the Green New Deal.
During a 14-minute speech on the Senate floor, he showed a series of
fantastical images that included former President Ronald Reagan riding
a dinosaur and Aquaman on a giant purple sea horse. Lee also evokes
Luke Skywalker from Star Wars riding a tauntaun, a mythical
snow lizard, to belittle the Green New Deal.
Yes indeed. I shall not
copy a part of the speech by the idiot Mike Lee, but you can find it in
the original, which is here.
Here is some more:
GOODMAN: What happened?
And why did the Democrats abstain?
Right. So, Mitch McConnell, or, I should say, Majority Leader
McConnell, decided that he wanted to do this vote a while back, when
the Green New Deal started to pick up steam. And this was the fruition.
It actually got pushed back once or twice. And from my estimation—I
focus on policy, so I’m not an expert on the political side—was that it
was really an effort to embarrass Democrats, to show cracks in support
for the Green New Deal, and essentially to try to stop the momentum.
No, I do not think
that this "was really an effort
to embarrass Democrats". I think
it is considerably more likely that this was an effort to
show that the majority of the presently elected Democrats in the Senate
are against the Green New Deal
(incidentally, a whole lot better than "the GND"), and it completely succeeded, at least in the
Senate: No Democrat in the Senate supported the Green New Deal.
Here is some more:
SHAIKH: Well, what do you
know about what Democrats—at the moment, what their opposition to the
Green New Deal is?
Largely, it’s that the resolution is a nonbinding resolution that sets
out goals and doesn’t have policy specifics right now. And so that is
the main opposition. And my understanding, I think there are some fears
also about cost and feasibility from particular senators. But I think
it’s also important to recognize that all of the senators who are
currently running for president have backed the Green New Deal.
Again I think Gunn-Wright is
mistaken: It is not so much that "the resolution is a nonbinding resolution that sets out
goals and doesn’t have policy specifics right now", but it is that the Democrats in the
Senate are against any Green
Then again, she is right that
"all of the senators who are
currently running for president have backed the Green New Deal" - which shows a considerable difference
between what the Democratic senators want and what the voters for the
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
SHAIKH: And what about the
fact that Republicans have been saying such bizarre things about the
Green New Deal? I mean, we just saw, you know, a dinosaur and a
tauntaun and so on. So, you know, what is that about, and how can you
possibly combat that?
Right. Well, the reality is they’re not taking this seriously. They’re
not taking this threat seriously.
No, I am sorry but I
disagree again with Gunn-Wright: The Republicans indeed are "saying such bizarre things about the Green
New Deal" but not because they do not take it serious,
but because they are afraid of what a worked
out Green New Deal may mean in the presidential elections of 2020.
And there is considerably more in the present article, that is
recommended, although I am not impressed by Gunn-Wright.
Manning Has Sacrificed Everything Twice
article is by Jacob Sugarman on Truthdig. This is from near the start
of the article:
Yes indeed: I think all
of the above is (very probably) true, including the notion that
Manning's "subpoena was an
act of reprisal", which is
- in my opinion, without proof - probably correct.
Since returning to prison
on March 8, Manning has spent 22
hours each day in total isolation at William G. Truesdale Adult
Detention Center in Alexandria, Va., according to the advocacy group
Chelsea Resists. “Chelsea can’t be out of her cell while any other
prisoners are out, so she cannot talk to other people, or visit the law
library, and has no access to books or reading material,” the group wrote in a statement last
week. “She has not been outside for 16 days. She is permitted to make
phone calls and move about outside her cell between 1 and 3 a.m.”
Manning is currently
incarcerated for refusing
to testify before a grand jury in an ongoing federal
investigation of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Judge
Claude Hilton of Federal District Court in the Eastern District of
Virginia has ordered that she remain
detained until she decides to testify or the grand jury completes
its work. In a statement
of motion, her attorneys have raised the possibility that her
subpoena was an act of reprisal, arguing that “[t]he President of the
United States himself tweeted that Ms. Manning ‘should never have been
released.’ ” Manning has pledged to fight the secrecy of the
court’s proceedings and to “exhaust every legal remedy available.”
Here is some more:
Yes indeed, although I
think the "just" in "served
just seven and a half"
(years) is a bit of a mistake. Here is some more:
This is not the first
Manning has put her physical and psychological health at risk on behalf
of the American public. In 2010, the intelligence officer who then
identified as Bradley was found guilty under the Espionage Act after
turning over upward of 750,000 classified or otherwise sensitive
government documents to WikiLeaks. Those documents
revealed, among other atrocities, that it was official U.S. policy
to ignore torture in Iraq, and that the majority of inmates at
Guantanamo Bay are either innocent or low-level operatives. Manning was
sentenced to 35 years in prison but served just seven and a half after
receiving a commutation from Barack Obama shortly before he left office.
Yes indeed. Here is the ending
of the present article:
Daniel Ellsberg, who risked
a life sentence to leak the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times as an
analyst at the Rand Corp., believes that Manning is nothing less than
an American hero. “Manning knowingly risked her freedom then for
truth-telling and actually suffered seven and a half years in prison,”
he recently told Truthout’s
Marjorie Cohn. “I admire her for what she is doing, risking and
enduring right now.”
That she is willing to
withstand prison a second time, despite being granted immunity for her
testimony, is a testament to her courage.
I agree and this is a
Prior to his order,
told Hilton that she will “accept
whatever you bring upon me.” That has meant re-entering prison
without knowing when she might be released, along with weeks on end
under dehumanizing conditions. For her remarkable bravery, for her
willingness to defy a U.S. government that seems to grow more hostile
to whistleblowers with each successive administration, Manning is our
Truthdigger of the Month.
Mueller Report Expected to Be Released by Mid-April
This article is by
Michael Balsamo and Erick Tucker on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
A redacted version of
special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation
will be sent to Congress by mid-April and will not be shared with the
White House beforehand, Attorney General William Barr said Friday.
Barr’s timeline, included
in a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary
committees, sets up a possible showdown with House Democrats, who are
insisting they see the full report next week.
Yes indeed. And I think
it is somewhat good to know that part of Mueller's report will
be known (to members of Congress, at least), while it is rather bad
to know that Barr will redact the report, which I think should be
published in full.
Here is some more:
Mueller did not find that
the Trump campaign coordinated or conspired with Russia, Barr wrote,
and did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.
Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided on
their own that Mueller’s evidence was insufficient to establish that
the president committed obstruction.
Barr said he is preparing
to redact multiple categories of information from the report and
Mueller is helping the Justice Department identify sections that will
be blacked out in the public version.
OK. This is slightly more
precise, though I think that the report should be shown in full.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
Barr’s letter drew a quick
— and critical — response from Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the
House Judiciary Committee, who had demanded the full Mueller report by
Nadler, D-N.Y., said that
deadline still stands and called on Barr to join him in working to get
a court order allowing the release of grand jury information to the
committee, rather than spending “valuable time and resources” keeping
portions of the report from Congress.
“There is ample precedent
for the Department of Justice sharing all of the information that the
Attorney General proposes to redact to the appropriate congressional
committees,” Nadler said in a statement. “Again, Congress must see the
I agree with Nadler
and this is a recommended article.
capitalism is the newest threat to democracy
This article is by
WhoWhatWhy on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
Well... mostly no,
which I say not so much because the above is false, but
because it is very incomplete:
The rule of Big Brother has
begun, and we are all enabling this new authoritative regime, critics
We are empowering
“surveillance capitalists” by revealing our every thought, word, and
deed through our networked devices — our cars, cell phones, laptops,
notepads, sensors, and voice-activated speakers (which do as much
listening as speaking) such as Google’s Alexa and Amazon’s Echo.
So say certain politicians
including Canadian Member of Parliament Charlie Angus and
academics such as Harvard Business School professot Shoshana Zuboff. They foresee a
new type of business model, referred
to as surveillance capitalism. They claim it is currently practiced
by tech giants Amazon, Google, and Facebook, and that it is threatening
the social compact that underlies democratic capitalism.
But their concerns go far
beyond data privacy and identity theft.
First of all, "the rule of
Big Brother" began when
the internet was opened, and not nearly 30 years later.
Second, indeed it was and still is "the rule
of Big Brother", that is, the state and its (anonymous and mostly secret)
security organizations, who also got access to everything anyone writes on a computer connected with
the internet, thereby completely
destroying all privacies of anyone with an internet connection (which
now also is more or less forced, because almost all services
that existed before the internet are being terminated).
Third, while I think Zuboff is mostly right, in my own
from 2012 - which is: "Crisis:
Christmas sermon: Hypotheses about CF+SS" - I called it "corporate
fascism" rather than
"the surveillance state", for the simple reason corporate
fascism seems a much better name than "the surveillance state", because I do not see what else it can be when all privacies of
anyone have been totally destroyed and have been replaced by constantly
being watched over by machines or anonymous persons who can control
absolutely anything one writes on the internet, and who know everything one did, said, wrote, did or valued.
Here is some more:
In this brave new world,
Internet of Everything enables the capture of vast amounts of
behavioral data, a new breed of competitors has realized that the
intelligence they can capture on their customers may be more valuable
than the products and services they offer.
When combined with other
sources of information, these troves of data can be manipulated by AI
and machine learning platforms, creating descriptions of who we are,
and predictions of what we will buy, what we will do, and whom we will
Yes, but once again:
First, there was the internet which, as it was designed, was designed
to destroy all privacies of everyone. (One proof of this is here: Brzezinski effectively predicting in the late
1960ies that the internet would destroy
all privacies of everyone connected to it.)
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
In her new book, The
Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New
Frontier of Power, Zuboff defines surveillance capitalism as “a new
economic order that claims human experience as a free source of raw
material” to be mined and exploited to expand power and control.
As Angus frames it: “The
problem is the unprecedented economic control of every form of social
discourse and communication.”
In the classic “Invisible Hand”
theory of free-market capitalism, individuals’ pursuit of their own
self-interest ends up producing tangible benefits for the society as a
whole. In surveillance capitalism, cold, calculated manipulation
replaces the aggregated choices of a large number of freely acting
No, I am sorry: This is
again far too partial. I also must
say, before going on, that I still have not read Zuboff's book, but
Firstly, Zuboff may have defined "surveillance capitalism" as "a new economic order that claims human
experience as a free source of raw material" (?!) but I define corporate
fascism as being based on a social
order that is such that extremely few men in the government or the
security organizations know absolutely everything (in principle) about
absolutely anyone absolutely everywhere.
That is THE model for absolute terrorism, as Hitler's
Germany and the Soviet Union have shown, when not 1/10,000th part or
much less was known about everyone by the Gestapo and the KGB.
Second, while Angus was right, and indeed Zuboff was right, that the derived
possibility of the complete "economic control of every form of social discourse and
communication" was implicit
in the state's intentional destruction of all personal privacy,
intentional destruction of all personal privacy came first and was and is basic.
And third, while the third quoted paragraph is right that in "surveillance capitalism, cold, calculated
manipulation replaces the aggregated choices of a large number of
freely acting individuals"
I insist that corporate fascism was and is at
the basis of all
this, and consists in the complete denial of any private freedom of
anyone using the internet: Either you think, want,
value and do what the state wants you to think, want, desire value or
do, or else you may get arrested and disappear - as is happening in
the current China.
Anyway... this is a recommended article, but it tells at most
half of the real story, in my opinion.
Finally Gives up His Two Year Search
This article is
by Rob Slane on The Off-Guardian, and originally on the Blogmire. It
starts as follows:
After more than two years looking for a non-existent needle in an
ever-expanding haystack, Chief Hunter of the Needle, Special Counsel
Robert Mueller, has finally declared that he hasn’t been able to find
it. This ought to come as no surprise, because as we know non-existent
needles don’t exist. Except, of course, in the minds of hundreds of
foolish Democrat politicians and their dutiful stenographers in the
mainstream media, or Global Pravda as it is known on this
The fascinating thing about
it all is that it wasn’t hard to grasp that the needle didn’t exist. It
was obvious from the start.
Well... I think this
article was a wrong choice by me, mostly because I do not
like its prose. (Two examples: "Chief Hunter of the Needle" and "we
know non-existent needles don’t exist".)
Here is one more bit:
I am sorry, but I do not
like this prose.
although I have zero time for the present incumbent of the White House,
who I consider to be a man-child possessing stratospheric levels of
folly, egotism and petty vindictiveness, the one commendable thing
about him was that in his campaign, he seemed to be fairly keen on not
starting a war with Russia. That seems to me be to be a Good Thing!
True, his plan was never any more detailed than repeating the phrase,“I
think we can get along” over and over, but for anyone who isn’t keen on
nuclear war, it was still preferable to the sentiments of his opponent,
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 3 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 (!!).