in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 26, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
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. (This still
continues: I have ME/CFS
since 40+ years.)
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 26, 2019:
1. A Fanatical Sect Has Hijacked British
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:
Have Less Than a Millisecond Left
3. Facebook May Pose a Greater Danger Than Wall Street
4. Why We Need to Break
Up Big Tech
Fanatical Sect Has Hijacked British Politics
is by William Davies on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
seems there is only one voter who matters to British politics right
now: a Brexit-obsessed, 50-something white man living in rural southern
Because a quirk of Britain’s unwritten constitution is that prime
ministers are often appointed by their parties without facing general
election. John Major, Gordon Brown and Theresa May all entered office
as a result of their predecessor resigning, and then being selected by
their party to take charge. Only Mr. Major was ever able to achieve any
clear electoral success of his own.
May’s resignation last month meant that, once again, a new prime
minister will soon be appointed without a democratic mandate. The
overwhelming favorite is Boris Johnson, the controversial
journalist-turned- politician, with a lifelong weakness
for causing offense and then laughing off the consequences. Unless
there is a great upset, Mr. Johnson’s appointment will be announced
on July 23,
leaving this notoriously reckless figure to navigate Britain’s exit
from the European Union, which he has committed to delivering by the
Oct. 31 deadline.
Yes indeed - and please note that "Britain’s unwritten constitution" is violently
anti-democratic , for it imposed no less
than three prime ministers in the past 25 years who were not chosen at all
by the British voters.
Here is some more:
At a time of deep political
and economic anxiety, the contest is producing the surreal experience
of something that feels like
democracy — an election campaign season, complete with televised
debates and policy announcements — but without any public franchise. In
this case, the “electorate” consists of a mere 160,000 people, just 0.3
percent of the national electorate, who are significantly older and
richer than average.
Mr. Davies may feel that this "feels like democracy" but I don't:
me it is simply sick totally undemocratic bullshit (and I also
would never have chosen either of Major, Brown and May, but
then I agree that is personal).
is some more:
Mr. Johnson’s appeal to his
base rests heavily on his enthusiastic comments about “no deal” Brexit,
a kamikaze policy that would devastate Britain’s economy and produce a
state of emergency for basic civil infrastructure, such as the supply
More disturbingly, new polling suggests that
Conservative Party members are now so fixated on Brexit that they
believe it is worth doing at almost any cost — even if it leads to
Northern Ireland or Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, “significant
damage to the U.K. economy” or, most strikingly, the destruction of the
I take it this is correct. Here is the last bit from
this article that I review:
Pockets of deep resentment
toward governing “elites” are a feature of most liberal democracies
today, to which there are a range of possible responses. What’s
different in Britain is the collision between its old-fashioned,
unwritten constitution and the exceptional drama of Brexit, which has
become a Trojan Horse through which nationalist, anti-establishment
rage is being channeled directly into the corridors of power. For
years, the case for reforming Britain’s constitution, to ensure that
parties and parliament are more representative of the public, has been
viewed as a somewhat academic topic, never urgent enough to demand much
Hmm... no. Here are my disagreements with this
First, to quote “elites” is utter bullshit after you have just explained
Johnson would be the fourth unelected prime minister within some 25
a country without a written constitution has no constitution, for
the simple reason that the only way to know what is and isn't
in the constitution is to have a written one. Also, I think it is a
shame not to have a written constitution.
the supposedly "academic
topic" of an unwritten
constitution exists since the 1880s (or earlier) for the simple
reason that I have a book by a lawyer from the 19th Century that is
about the constitution, except that what is the constitution already
then was a matter of opinion, that was not written down
nor elected. Since that arrangement lasted some 140
years, I feel quite sure it was and is all intentional.
this is a recommended article.
Have Less Than a Millisecond Left
is by Lee Camp on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I say?! Well... I
agree the political, ethical, economical and natural/environmental
situation is very serious, which is also why I have been writing
about it more or less systematically now for over 10 years, but the
above seems close to hysteria to me, even if it is literally
We have less than a
You see, the planet we call
home has existed for roughly 4.55
billion years. But numbers that large mean almost nothing to me,
nor to most people, so I choose to break it down. If we lay the age of
the Earth out over a calendar year, that would amount to 518,264 years
per hour or 144 years per second. So if we have 10 or 11 years until
the point of no return, as climate scientists have repeatedly
told us, that means we have a millisecond left before midnight in
which to change our society completely to avoid turning the Earth into
a piping hot fajita.
Then again it isn't, or at least not quite, if only because I do have
(very probably) a somewhat better comprehension of large numbers than
Then there is this:
None of us should be
about anything other than climate change. We all kind of know it even
if we think we don’t know it. Even people
who deny climate change exists probably secretly know it. They’re
just confusing what they want to be true with what they
subconsciously know to be true.
Well... what would
Camp say to somebody who replied to him: If we have less than a
millisecond left, or possibly a mere ten years until we all turn into "piping hot fajita", then why would we not rather spend the last ten
years we have on something nice?
I have no idea,
but I disagree with Camp's total concentration on climate
change (about which I have been worrying since 1972), especially with
an American president like Trump, who at any moment may decide to start
an atomic war, that is as certain (if in any way mayor) to
be as lethal to mankind and nature as climate change.
Here is some more:
I mean climate change
be ALL we’re thinking about. It should be a major factor in
every conversation, every job, every TV show, every humor column, every
tweet, every clever T-shirt slogan and every fortune cookie message.
Climate change should be everything.
Well... it isn't and it will
not be. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Possibly so (though
Camp has three times "inevitably" within 14 words).
Governmental Panel on Climate Change says the point of no return is the
year 2030. This obviously doesn’t mean everything spontaneously
combusts at the stroke of midnight 2030 (although that would be
fascinating to watch). It means that after that point—if we aren’t
living vastly different lives—no effort will change the fact that the
planet inevitably will become uninhabitable and we humans inevitably
will go extinct and there inevitably will be no more skiing (both due
to a lack of snow and due to a lack of fleshy beings to ride on skis).
The year 2030 is the point of no return. It is the date of our
impending, prolonged suicide.
Anyway... whatever the truth may be about the future of mankind and
of the earth, I do not think this is the way to write about it.
May Pose a Greater Danger Than Wall Street
This article is by Ellen Brown on
Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I did not quite know
WeChat Pay was as far as the above, but I agree with the quote
from the article in Bloomberg. Also, I have written more about this
lately, and my own response to Facebook's - which is the property
of the digital gangster Zuckerberg - planned enormous extension of its
vast income and enormous powers is that it should be forbidden, indeed
both, namely both Libra and the fraudulent thieving morally deeply
Payments can happen cheaply
and easily without banks or credit card companies, as has already been
demonstrated—not in the United States but in China. Unlike in the U.S.,
where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing
payments, in China most money flows through mobile phones nearly for
free. In 2018 these cashless payments totaled
a whopping $41.5 trillion; and 90% were through Alipay and WeChat Pay,
a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and
banking. According to a 2018 article in Bloomberg titled “Why
China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares”:
The nightmare for the
U.S. financial industry is that a technology company—whether from China
or a homegrown juggernaut such as Amazon.com Inc. or Facebook
Inc.—replicates the success of Alipay and WeChat in America. The stakes
are enormous, potentially carving away billions of dollars in annual
revenue from major banks and other firms.
Then again, I agree these are my opinions and desires,
and I am also willing to agree that while some politicians worry about
Facebook and its projects, there is far too little worrying about
Facebook i.e. Zuckerberg's enormous powers (which are based on fraud
Here is some more on Libra:
Yes, these seem all to be facts.
Then again, I have a question (which is not answered by this
fine article, and to which I do not know the answer myself): What
would prevent the Wall Street Banks from taking part in Libra? If Visa,
Mastercard and Paypal are?
On June 18, Facebook
unveiled a white paper
outlining ambitious plans to create a new global cryptocurrency called
Libra, to be launched in 2020. Facebook reportedly
has high hopes that Libra will become the foundation for a new
financial system free of control by Wall Street power brokers and
But apparently Libra will not
be competing with Visa or Mastercard. In fact, the Libra
Association lists those two giants among its 28 soon-to-be founding
members. Others include Paypal, Stripe, Uber, Lyft and eBay. Facebook
has reportedly courted
dozens of financial institutions and other tech companies to join
the Libra Association, an independent foundation that will contribute
capital and help govern the digital currency.
As I said, I have no ideas about the correct answer. Back to the
Yes, I agree. Here
is how users of Facebook + Libra will be once again be raped, fucked or
Economist Nouriel Roubini
It will start as
a private, permissioned, not-trustless, centralized oligopolistic
members-only club. So much for calling it "blockchain". Like all
"enterprise DLT" it is blockchain in name only and an monopoly to
extract massive seignorage from billions of users. A monopoly scam
Another Zero Hedge writer
calls Libra “The
Dollar’s Killer App,” which threatens “not only the power of
central banks but also the government’s money monopoly itself.”
[The Libra white
paper] reveals the profits will indeed be divvied among
Facebook’s Libra partners rather than shared with users. At one
time, we earned interest on our deposits in government-insured banks.
With Libra, we will get no interest on our money, which will be
entrusted to uninsured crypto exchanges, which are coming under
increasing regulatory pressure due to lack of transparency and
Yes, I agree. Here
is more on Facebook:
I agree again (and
personally I would not trust Zuckerberg with anything
Long also predicts that
Facebook’s cryptocurrency will be a huge honeypot of data for
government officials, since every transaction will be traceable. But
other reviewers see this as Libra’s most fatal flaw. Facebook has been
called Big Brother, the
ultimate government surveillance tool. Conspiracy theorists link
it to the CIA and the U.S. Department of Defense. Facebook has already
demonstrated that it is an untrustworthy manager of personal data. How
then can we trust it with our money?
Here is more on Libra:
Yes, I completely agree
with Waters. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Maxine Waters, who heads
the Financial Services Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives,
to halt its development of Libra until hearings could be held. She said:
This is like starting a
bank without having to go through any steps to do it. … We can’t
allow Facebook to go to Switzerland and begin to compete with the
dollar without having any regulatory regime that’s dealing with them.
Yes indeed: I completely agree with Grygiel,
and this is a strongly recommended article.
Jennifer Grygiel writes:
Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg . . . is declaring that he wants Facebook to become a
virtual nation, populated by users, powered by a self-contained
economy, and headed by a CEO–Zuckerberg himself– who is not
even accountable to his shareholders. . . .
In many ways the company
that Mark Zuckerberg is building is beginning to look more like a Roman
Empire, now with its own central bank and currency, than a corporation.
The only problem is that this new nation-like platform is a controlled
company and is run more like a dictatorship than
a sovereign country with democratically elected leaders.
4. Why We Need to Break
Up Big Tech
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
I take it all of the above
is correct, and I also think this is pretty sickening. Here is
Yes, I agree, but breaking
up big tech will be quite difficult and more difficult than breaking up
the Gilded Age, for the simple reason that big tech is much more
powerful and has much more money than the rich few in the Gilded Age.
Here is the first of four arguments why big tech - nevertheless -
should be broken up:
Yes indeed. (I can assure
you that I like DuckDuckGo quite well, and never use Google.)
Here is some more:
Quite so, and I also think
this is obscene. Here is the third argument:
Yes, I agree (and
see Reich's article if you want more). Here is the last argument:
I completely agree.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this fine article:
Yes, I agree and this is a
strongly recommended article.
Elizabeth Warren has introduced a proposal to do just that. It
would force tech giants to open up their platforms to more competition
or break up into smaller companies.
Let’s be clear: Monopolies aren’t good for anyone except for the
monopolists, especially when they can influence our elections and
control how Americans receive information.
In this new Gilded Age, we
need to respond to them as forcefully as we did to the monopolies of
the first Gilded Age and break them up.
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 (!!).