in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 20, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
I realize that I did not commemorate the fact that I am writing
Crisis files for six years now,
started to do so after June 10, 2013,
which taught me about Snowden.
I am registering it now, and may write about it the coming days, but I
am also somewhat worse at present than I was for a long time.
There will be more about computers and Ubuntu in Nederlog soon, but I
am happy to announce that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, that I installed in 2017,
works again as it did before on May 24, and after 24 hours of misery.
And on May 23 I also got a working computer with 18.04 LTS
worse than 16.04 LTS because its Firefox also is a menuless
horror that I refuse to use, but
happily SeaMonkey is not, for it still has it menus and can be
installed on 18.04), so I
present - and after two weeks of struggling - in the possession of two
more or less, though not yet quite decently working computers.
So today there is a more or less common Nederlog, where "common" is the
style I developed in 2013.
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
four crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 20, 2019:
1. Big Tech’s War for Your Wallet
The items 1 - 4 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:
Inequality Creates the Fascism We Fight Against
3. Trump’s “Deep State” is Trump’s Corrupt State
4. Bernie Sanders’
Economic Bill of Rights
Tech’s War for Your Wallet
This article is by Amy Goodman and Juan
González on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the title. It starts with the
Yes indeed. I wrote yesterday about this and said
that I am an opponent of the whole idea
of money being created by non-states. I quote myself:
In a move that could
the world’s financial system, Facebook has unveiled plans to launch a
new global digital currency called Libra. Facebook announced its plans
on Tuesday after secretly working on the cryptocurrency for more than a
year. It will launch Libra next year in partnership with other large
companies including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Uber. Facebook said it
wants to create “a simple global currency and infrastructure that
empowers billions of people.” The plan has already come under fierce
criticism from financial regulators and lawmakers. Democratic Senator
Sherrod Brown tweeted, “Facebook is already too big and too powerful,
and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting
their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new
cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight.” We speak
with David Dayen, the executive editor of The American Prospect. He
recently wrote a piece for The New Republic headlined “The Final Battle
in Big Tech’s War to Dominate Your World.”
I think it is utterly
ridiculous that Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg, in fact, in majority - should
be allowed to create its own currency, just as I think it would be utterly
ridiculous if it should be allowed to create its own laws and
Then again, this plan
Facebook illustrates how strongly corporatism has grown - that is: the
tendency to make governments as small as possible, and give all power
to the rich corporations - which again is a clear sign of neofascism.
My reason is the same
in both cases: Money and laws are some of the things that should be
limited to governments of countries, and not to some spooky private
business (and yes, this applies to Bitcoin as well).
So that is what Facebook plan amounts to:
A major shift towards neofascistic
corporate dominance - and see my 2012 fundamental
exposition on this: Corporate
Fascism and the Surveillance State, about which I can add that
since it is nearly 7 years old at the moment, it seems to me that this
outline has been strongly supported since by many facts
not and could not know in 2012, notably by Snowden´s revelations.
Here is more by Dayen:
DAYEN: (..) It’s a
way to transfer money to other people on the Facebook app. Obviously,
you know, we have, what, over 2 billion people that use Facebook. It’s
a way to transfer something of value between those users. And because
it’s backed by international currencies and can be used across borders,
it’s really supplanting the need to exchange money. You don’t have to
go from dollars to euros, necessarily; you can just pay in Libra. So,
that’s sort of the pitch that Facebook would make.
The other side of this is
that there’s no real regulatory setup. It’s displacing global
currencies in some ways. There are serious monetary policy concerns,
serious regulatory concerns. Could this be used to facilitate money
laundering or tax evasion? There are a whole host of unanswered
questions around this.
Yes indeed. Incidentally, it
is my strong opinion that Facebook´s Libra will make it a whole lot
easier ¨to facilitate
laundering or tax evasion¨,
part because it will all be controlled by Zuckerberg, in part because
Facebook is a private company that is hardly controlled, and in part
for other reasons having to do with money and finance.
Here is some more:
DAYEN: (..) And if
you think about the scale, the potential scale of something like this,
where you’re talking about 2 billion users, any—this is almost an
operating system for money. Any other organization can build something
to create payment services in this fashion. The possibilities are
really endless, and so, you know, the financial possibilities are also
endless. And as you correctly cite, Juan, I mean, the governance
questions of how this currency will be managed, how capital flows will
be understood and facilitated, if you have a country that is
experiencing an economic downturn and—Libra is an excellent way for
capital flight, which is something we don’t really want when a country
is in financial trouble. How is that going to be mitigated or managed?
There are just, as I said, just way too many unanswered questions with
Yes indeed, although I also
think that it is a virtual certainty that the control of this kind
money will be by Facebook and its partners, and not by other people,
and the rules of this game will be mostly hidden by Facebook.
Here is some more:
DAYEN: (..) And
that’s Facebook’s, I think, end goal. If you add payments onto this
social media application that is incredibly dominant, you’ve basically
locked people into Facebook. And if you’ve done that, then, you know,
whether you’re taking a little bit out of every transaction that 2
billion people make on a daily basis, or whether you are just locking
people onto the site, knowing what purchases they’ve made and then
selling very data-rich ads based on that, you have a prospect of real
Yes, I agree,
although I also
think there is more of neofascism
involved in Zuckerberg´s plan.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
DAYEN: (..) So, we’ve been
seeing, over the last several months, the big tech companies—Google,
Apple, Amazon and Facebook—try to figure out how to become that sort of
one partner. I mean, you have Apple, that put out this thing that’s a
credit card, called the Apple Card. You have Amazon partnering with
other global payment systems on what they call World Pay—or, what they
call Amazon Pay, I should say. Google has its own digital wallet. And
now you have Facebook with this thing that is—who knows what it is? Is
it a bank? Is it a prepaid card? Is it a digital wallet? Is it a global
currency? So you have all these companies, that were kind of competing
separately, are now all moving into the payment space and also moving
into other spaces that are overlapping, like entertainment, to become
that thing that is sort of the only kind of digital tool that you will
need. So you can make all of your purchases, you can talk to all your
friends, you can access all your entertainment, you can do everything
that you wish inside this world, whether it’s Facebook, Google, Amazon
And that’s really their
intention. And that’s why I call it sort of the war of all against all.
This is like the final battle for global domination here.
No, not quite. First of
all, it is a war of the very rich few agains the rest (and not
a ¨war of all against all¨) and secondly this is neofascism,
I defined it: The major corporations trying to take over from
governments and from the state (and succeeding). And this is a strongly
Inequality Creates the Fascism We Fight Against
This article is by
Lee Camp on Truthdig. This is from near its beginning:
As to the last question: I
do not really know, and I have been following politics now for
years. But I do have a general idea, and that is that the basic
for most political developments we have seen since 1979-1980, which is
the last 40 years, is that a large majority of ordinary adults in fact
have few decent, fact-based, rational ideas about politics and most
other things, basically because they are mostly both ignorant and stupid.
This is from Nomi
Prins at TomDispatch:
“… [I]f you really want to
grasp what’s been happening, consider that, between 2009 and 2017, the
number of billionaires whose combined wealth was greater than that of
the world’s poorest 50% fell from 380 to just eight.”
And in the U.S., it’s even
worse. It’s three. Three
dudes have the same wealth as the bottom 50% of everyone! Yet most
Americans seem fine with it—at least in the sense that we’re only
expressing our anger via strongly worded tweets rather than hurling
flaming bottles filled with lighter fluid and urine.
Could you imagine how
fucking angry people would be if this were about anything other than
At least, that is the best general explanation I can think of, and
while I do realize this is not a popular idea at all (¨What?!
calling me stupid or ignorant?! I will show you...¨) I am pleased
find Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. seems to have agreed
Here is some more:
Not too long ago, Walmart
a canned food drive for their own employees on Thanksgiving. If you
work at Walmart and you can’t afford Thanksgiving dinner, that doesn’t
mean customers need to donate some Spam. It means working at Walmart is
less a job and more a partial enslavement opportunity. Think about
that: Workers at one of the largest corporations in the world within
one of the richest countries in the world can’t even afford to feed
Yes, I agree that is a
great shame. Here is some more:
has a chart that shows the top 0.1%’s share of total U.S. income over
time. It’s peaking right now, and the previous peak on the chart
happened just before the 2008 collapse. The only other peak occurred
just before the Great Depression.
400 U.S. earners have hugely increased how many millions they bring
home every year. The top tier is still benefiting from that peak on the
chart from just before the 2008 financial collapse … for which our
Justice Department prosecuted nobody.
Actually, the graphics as Inequality.org
are quite good - except that they seem to have the crazy idea
partially blocking them. You can see all of them, but it takes
Here is a brief
of inequality in the USA:
So what has caused this
breathtaking level of inequality? There are several culprits. One is
Bill Clinton’s gutting
of the Glass-Steagall Act, which former opponent of desegregation
and fervent Amtrak rider Joe Biden supported as well. Another is the
Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing,” which is basically a massive
giveaway to Wall Street (..) And yet another reason for the inequality
we now see is the near obliteration of strong unions.
Yes, I agree. Here is
ending of this article:
So let’s go back to our if
If inequality, then
If instability, then
If popular uprisings, then either
lefty leaders or neo-fascists.
This will all be on the
exam, so write it down.
Well... I like Lee Camp
(I think) and know he is a comedian, but I would like it better if his
serious articles were written without comedy. As to the above bit:
The first line is at
most a probability (and there have been many centuries of
inequalities with few instabilities); the second line idem; and the
third line idem (and the alternative may be true for the last hundred
years or so, but not for more). But this is a recommended article.
“Deep State” is Trump’s Corrupt State
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes, I agree, though
perhaps I should add that I do believe in some deep state, and
in Eisenhower´s military-industrial
complex, in fact because that seems rather obviously true.
Trump has been ramping up
his “Deep State” rhetoric again. He’s back to blaming a cabal of
bureaucrats, FBI and CIA agents, Democrats, and “enemies of the people”
in the mainstream media, for conspiring to remove him from office in
order to allow the denizens of foreign shi*tholes to overrun America.
But with each passing day
it’s becoming clearer that the real threat to America isn’t Trump’s
Deep State. It’s Trump’s Corrupt State.
Not since Warren G.
Harding’s sordid administration have as many grifters, crooks and
cronies occupied high positions in Washington.
Trump has installed a Star
Wars Cantina of former lobbyists and con artists, including several
whose exploits have already forced them to resign, such as Scott
Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, Tom Price, and Michael Flynn. Many others remain.
Anyway. Here is some more:
Yes, I agree, except
most ¨ethics are out of the window¨ since Bill Clinton´s presidency.
All this takes
conflict-of-interest to a new level of shamelessness.
What are Republicans doing
about it? Participating in it.
Secretary of Transportation
Elaine Chao, who also happens to be the wife of Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell, has approved $78 million in grants for her husband’s
home state of Kentucky, including a highway-improvement project that
had been twice rejected in the past. Chao has even appointed a special
liaison to coordinate grants with McConnell’s office.
Oh, did I say, McConnell is
up for reelection next year?
News that a Cabinet
is streamlining federal funding for her husband’s pet projects would be
a giant scandal under normal circumstances. But in the age of Trump,
ethics are out the window.
Here is some more:
Well... I don´t know
is undermining American democracy, and I don´t know because neither
myself nor anybody else has any good ideas about how much Russia does
Trump claims the Deep State
allows foreigners to take advantage of America. The reality is Trump’s
Corrupt State allows Vladimir Putin and his goon squad to continue
undermining American democracy.
“I’d take it” if Russia
again offered campaign help, Trump crowed last week, adding that he
wouldn’t necessarily tell the FBI about it. Just days before, Trump
acknowledged “Russia helping me get elected” the first time.
Despite evidence that
Russia is back hacking and trolling its way toward the 2020 election,
Republican defenders of Trump’s Corrupt State won’t lift a finger.
So what I believe is that (i) Russia does interfere some in
politics, precisely as (ii) the USA has been interfering in
politics for more than 25 years, but the major forces to destroy
American democracy is not Russia, but are or were Bill Clinton´s
presidency, Bush Jr.´s presidency, Obama´s presidency and Trump´s
Here is Reich´s ending:
As I said above, I do
believe in some Deep State, if only Eisenhower´s military-industrial
complex, but I agree Trump is also creating a corrupt state
were former American presidents). And this is a recommended article.
Trump and his Republican
enablers are playing magicians who distract us by shouting “look here!”
at the paranoid fantasy of a Deep State, while creating a Corrupt State
under our noses.
But it’s not a party trick.
It’s the dirtiest trick of our time, enabled by the most corrupt party
in living memory.
Sanders’ Economic Bill of Rights
This article is by
Marjorie Cohn on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a full-throated defense of
democratic socialism in his June 12 speech at George Washington
University. Sanders quoted President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1944 State
of the Union address: “We have come to a clear realization of the fact
that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and
No, I am sorry: This just
is not so, as indeed I argued two days ago in Why Bernie Sanders Isn’t Afraid of ‘Socialism’ : I like Bernie Sanders; I think
Sanders + Warren us the best
choice for the next American
but I am quite definite that Sanders is not
speaking the truth
about what he calls ¨democratic socialism¨.
Sanders, like FDR,
proposed an Economic Bill of Rights, including the rights to health
care, affordable housing, education, a living wage and retirement.
“Economic rights are
human rights,” Sanders declared. “That is what I mean by democratic
See the last link, and realize that if Sanders were correct
¨democratic socialism¨ I would have been living in a
socialist country, since more than 60 years also, because the
rights that Sanders says define ¨democratic socialism¨ mostly exist in
Holland and Western Europe - in spite of which these are not
democratic socialist countries, but capitalist countries.
Here is some more:
figures of vast wealth disparity in the United States, where “the top
one percent of people own more wealth than the bottom 92 percent.” He
said there is higher income and wealth inequality today than at any
time since the 1920s. And, Sanders stated, “Despite an explosion in
technology and worker productivity, the average wage of the American
worker in real dollars is no higher than it was 46 years ago and
millions of people are forced to work two or three jobs just to
I think these purported
facts are all true, but like to add that one major reason
is that while
the United States did agree with most other Western countries about
political rights, it never agreed about economic rights, which is
one of the major legal differences between Western Europe (where I have
always lived) and the USA.
He also noted, “In
America today, the very rich live on average 15 years longer than the
Here is some more:
Trump and his fellow oligarchs oppose democratic socialism, Sanders
said, but “they don’t really oppose all forms of socialism.” Indeed,
“they absolutely love corporate socialism that enriches Trump and other
No, I am sorry, but this
is again false: Just as Roosevelt´s economic rights (which
signed by the USA) are not - at all - the same as socialism, the
corporate billionaires do not enrich themselves by any kind of
socialism, but by capitalist solidarity
Sanders cited the $700
billion bailout of Wall Street in 2008 by the Treasury Department
“after their greed, recklessness and illegal behavior created the worst
financial disaster since the Great Depression — with millions of
Americans losing their jobs, their homes and their life savings — Wall
Street’s religious adherence to unfettered capitalism suddenly came to
He also mentioned tax
breaks and loopholes for fossil fuel companies, pharmaceutical
companies, Amazon, and the Trump family.
As Dr. Martin Luther
King observed, the United States “has socialism for the rich, rugged
individualism for the poor.”
Here is an outline of Roosevelt´s economic rights:
“In 1944, FDR
proposed an economic bill of rights but died a year later and was never
able to fulfill that vision. Our job, 75 years later,” Sanders said,
“is to complete what Roosevelt started.”
No, I am sorry again: Holland
and Western Europe had these rights - more or less,
excepting a clean environment, for over 50 years, without being
socialist in any good sense.
He then set forth his
vision of a 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights, which would recognize
that all Americans should have:
right to a decent job that pays a living wage
right to quality health care
right to a complete education
right to affordable housing
right to a clean environment
right to a secure retirement
Democratic presidents vilified by the oligarchs of their time for their
programs of alleged “socialism.” Lyndon Johnson was attacked for
Medicare, Harry Truman’s proposed national health care program was
dubbed “socialized medicine,” and Newt Gingrich called Bill Clinton’s
health care plan “centralized bureaucratic socialism.”
And while I agree with Sanders it would be a very good thing if
economic rights were rights in the USA as well, I disagree with
who says this is socialism: If it were, I´d be living in a
country the last 50+ years.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Moreover, a 2018
Gallup poll determined that a majority of young Americans have a
positive opinion of socialism. According to a recent Axios poll, 55
percent of women between the ages of 18 and 54 would prefer to live in
a socialist country.
No, I am sorry: I disagree
with the first of the avobe quoted paragraphs, for the simple reason
that I am fairly to very certain that few of the ¨young Americans¨ are
able to give any halfway decent definition of socialism - as indeed
Cohn isn´t, for which reason I do not recommend this article, because
it is fundamentally confused.
Sanders said the U.S.
and the rest of the world face two different political paths. “On one
hand,” he noted, “there is a growing movement towards oligarchy and
authoritarianism in which a small number of incredibly wealthy and
powerful billionaires own and control a significant part of the economy
and exert enormous influence over the political life of our country. On
the other hand, in opposition to oligarchy, there is a movement of
working people and young people who, in ever increasing numbers, are
fighting for justice.”
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 (!!).