from March 26, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
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 two 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.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from March 26, 2018
1. 'The Gig Economy' Is the New Term for Serfdom
2. Don’t Delete Facebook. Do Something About It.
The Six Biggest Moments From Stormy Daniels’
4. Trump Should Withdraw Haspel Nomination, Intel Vets Say
5. A Call to the Media: Let's Go Beyond "Preserving Democracy"
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:
Gig Economy' Is the New Term for Serfdom
This article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
A 65-year-old New York City
cab driver from Queens, Nicanor Ochisor, hanged himself in his garage
March 16, saying in a note he left behind that the ride-hailing
companies Uber and Lyft had made it impossible for him to make a
living. It was the fourth suicide by a cab driver in New York in the
last four months, including one Feb. 5 in which livery driver Douglas
Schifter, 61, killed himself with a shotgun outside City Hall.
“Due to the huge numbers of
cars available with desperate drivers trying to feed their families,”
wrote Schifter, “they squeeze rates to below operating costs and force
professionals like me out of business. They count their money and we
are driven down into the streets we drive becoming homeless and hungry.
I will not be a slave working for chump change. I would rather be
dead.” He said he had been working 100 to 120 hours a week for the past
I say. And working "120 hours a week" = three times as much work as is legally
permitted (apart from special circumstances) in Holland, to the
best of my information.
Here is more, that
generalizes the above specific facts:
Schifter and Ochisor were
two of the millions of victims of the new economy. Corporate capitalism
is establishing a neofeudal serfdom in numerous occupations, a
condition in which there are no labor laws, no minimum wage, no
benefits, no job security and no regulations. Desperate and
impoverished workers, forced to endure 16-hour days, are viciously
pitted against each other. Uber drivers make about $13.25 an hour. In
cities like Detroit
this falls to $8.77. Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber and
one of the founders, has a net worth of $4.8 billion.
Yes, I believe that
indeed "establishing a
neofeudal serfdom in numerous occupations, a condition in which there
are no labor laws, no minimum wage, no benefits, no job security and no
regulations" is a major
end of the very many
deregulations that started under Reagan and that were continued
(for payment) by Bill Clinton, who currently seems to own $140 million
(together with Hillary).
Then there is this:
The reign of the
all-powerful capitalist class has returned with a vengeance. The job
conditions of working men and women, thrust backward, will not improve
until they regain the militancy and rebuild the popular organizations
that seized power from the capitalists.
I mostly agree,
though this is in fact a quite pessimistic
assessment: Until [the poor] will "regain the militancy and rebuild the popular
organizations that seized power from the capitalists", they will not be helped,
neither by the rich nor by their own government which is controlled by
Here is more:
The ruling capitalists will
be as vicious as they were in the past. Nothing enrages the rich more
than having to part with a fraction of their obscene wealth. Consumed
by greed, rendered numb to human suffering by a life of hedonism and
extravagance, devoid of empathy, incapable of self-criticism or
self-sacrifice, surrounded by sycophants and leeches who cater to their
wishes, appetites and demands, able to use their wealth to ignore the
law and destroy critics and opponents, they are among the most
repugnant of the human species. Don’t be fooled by the elites’ skillful
public relations campaigns—we are watching Mark Zuckerberg, whose net
worth is $64.1 billion, mount a massive propaganda effort against
charges that he and Facebook are focused on exploiting and selling our
personal information—or by the fawning news celebrities on corporate
media who act as courtiers and apologists for the oligarchs. These
people are the enemy.
I mostly agree again.
And if you believe Zuckerberg you should know what, in
Zuckerberg's own words, you are "dumb fucks, who trust" Zuckerberg.
I am neither a dumb fuck nor do I trust Zuckerberg, but I grant he deceived over 2
billion "dumb fucks".
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
The corporate architects of
the new economy have no intention of halting the assault. They intend
to turn everyone into temp workers trapped in demeaning, low-paying,
part-time, service-sector jobs without job security or benefits, a
reality they plaster over by inventing hip terms like “the gig economy”.
I agree. Unfortunately,
Hedges did not much to explain "the gig economy" so I included a - somewhat ambivalent - bit by BBC
News. And I agree with Hedges that "the gig economy" looks most like an attempt by the very few
extremely rich - Zuckerberg, Bezos, Trump - to return to
extremely exploitative conditions of the 1870ies in England ("low-paying, part-time, service-sector jobs
without job security or benefits").
And this is a
Delete Facebook. Do Something About It.
This article is by Siva Vaidhyanathan on The New York Times.
This is from near its beginning, and the article seems to be
written by an eager and very slippery slave of Zuckerberg:
If you feel the same
way about how Facebook affects your daily life, by all means suspend or
even delete your account (not that Facebook makes it easy to). But
don’t pretend it will make a difference to Facebook or to the state of
Hello "dumb fucks"
(Zuckerberg's own words for the billions he deceives to
become one of the richest men ever)!! Here is Siva Vaidhyanathan to explain
you Zuckerberg's own position: You may of course leave
Facebook, but if so you are a coward, a degenerate and
a helper Twitter and Netflix and Google and Amazon and many more even
But even if tens of thousands
of Americans quit Facebook tomorrow, the company would barely feel it.
Facebook has more than 2.1 billion users worldwide. Its growth has
plateaued in the United States, but the service is gaining millions of
new users outside North America every week. Like most global companies,
Facebook focuses its attention on markets like India, Egypt, Indonesia,
the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico. At current rates of growth, it
could reach three billion users by 2020.
Facebook lets Google and Twitter off the hook. It lets AT&T and
Comcast and its peers off the hook. The dangers of extremist propaganda
and hate speech are just as grave on YouTube, which is owned by Google.
Russian agents undermining trust in institutions and democracy are even
more visible on Twitter. And every major telecommunications firm, as
well as Google and Twitter, relies on surveillance systems similar to
the one Facebook uses to run targeted advertising. Facebook is bigger
and better at all of this than the others, but its problems are not
Hello "dumb fucks who
trusted" Zuckerberg!! Mr. Vaidhyanathan will explain you that you
are even dumber fucks if you leave the site of the
biggest fraud there
ever was, and precisely the same holds for Google, and
Twitter, and Comcast, and Youtube and its peers!!
You should stay on these megafraud sites!! Why? Because
every body else there is indulging in "extremist propaganda and hate speech" except for ""dumb fucks" like you!!
You see, Facebook may have frauded absolutely
all of its members (except you,
of course), but - hey, "dumb fucks" - "Facebook is bigger and better at all of this than the others," so therefore extremely "dumb fucks" like you should stay
there!! Says Mr Vaidhyanathan!!
Here is more, o "dumb fucks who trusted" Zuckerberg:
Hope lies, instead,
with our power as citizens. We must demand that legislators and
regulators get tougher.
You see: "dumb fucks" like you are just as
powerful as megafrauding billionaires! Believe Mr. Vaidhyanathan!!
And listen, you "dumb fucks":
So go ahead and quit
Facebook if it makes you feel calmer or more productive. Please
realize, though, that you might be offloading problems onto those who
may have less opportunity to protect privacy and dignity and are more
vulnerable to threats to democracy. If the people who care the most
about privacy, accountability and civil discourse evacuate Facebook in
disgust, the entire platform becomes even less informed and diverse.
Deactivation is the opposite of activism.
For the last
time, all you "dumb fucks"!! If you are a stupid weakling who
cannot stand that Zuckerberg knows everything there is to know about
you, including your hundreds of "friends", you may leave Facebook.
But listen to the honest, sincere and superb Mr. Mr Vaidhyanathan!! If you do so you
- a "dumb fuck who trusted" Zuckerberg in Zuckerberg's own words - then
you are "offloading problems onto those who may have
less opportunity to protect privacy and dignity". See?!
The superbly honest "dumb fuck" of Zuckerberg knows! To leave the biggest and most dishonest fraud there is on the
internet, who also, as a matter of
course, fucks over your hundreds of friends with Cambridge Analytica,
is "deactivation" which "is
the opposite of activism"!!
Ask Mr. Vaidhyanathan!! One of the dumbest and dearest fucks of
Six Biggest Moments From Stormy Daniels’ Interview
This article is by Brandon Patterson on Mother Jones. It
starts as follows:
Adult film star Stormy
Daniels appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday night in her first televised
interview about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump. Daniels
claims she slept with Trump once in 2006 while Trump was already
married to his current wife, First Lady Melania Trump, a claim the
president has denied.
a non-disclosure agreement with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen
just ahead of the 2016 election wherein she agreed not to speak
publicly about her relationship with Trump in exchange for a six-figure
sum. Daniels and her attorney now assert, however, that the agreement
was not legally valid because Trump did not also sign it himself.
I knew all of that, but
you may not. And I did check at least two other articles dedicated to
the above event, and this seemed the best.
Here is more:
why she signed the initial hush agreement:
Daniels told Cooper the offer was appealing because it meant she would
receive money and also did not have to worry about the impact that news
coverage of her affair with Trump would have on her daughter and
family. “The story was coming out again. I was concerned for my
family and their safety,” she said.
That sounds sensible.
Here is more:
Daniel lays out why
she’s decided to talk now:
Cooper opened the interview
by questioning why Daniels is talking now. Her answer was
straightforward. “People are just saying whatever they wanted to say
about me,” she said. “I was perfectly fine saying nothing at all, but
I’m not okay with being made out to be a liar, or people thinking that
I did this for money and people are like, ‘Oh, you’re an opportunist.
You’re taking advantage of this.'”
Well... I think she
started the affair with Trump because she was interested in money. And
I think, being a realist, that money is still her main
interest, although I am willing to agree that the role the opinions of
- arbitrary, mostly anonymous - people may also play a role.
Then there is this:
Daniels says she
was threatened not to share her story:
“A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget
the story.’ And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and
said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something
happened to her mom.’ “You took it as a direct threat?” Cooper asked.
“Absolutely,” Daniels said.
If this happened (I
don't know), I think Daniels' explanation is correct.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Perhaps. In any case, this
is a recommended article.
Trevor Potter, a former
chairman of the FEC, told Cooper he thinks Cohen’s payment to Daniels
could amount to an illegal campaign contribution. “It’s a $130,000
in-kind contribution by Cohen to the Trump campaign, which is about
$126,500 above what he’s allowed to give. And if he does this on behalf
of his client, the candidate, that is a coordinated, illegal, in-kind
contribution by Cohen for the purpose of influencing the election, of
benefiting the candidate by keeping this secret.”
Should Withdraw Haspel Nomination, Intel Vets Say
This article is by the Veteran
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, that includes William
McGovern and quite a few more. It is the text of a memorandum to
president Trump, and it starts as follows:
With respect, we
veteran intelligence officers from CIA and other agencies urge you to
withdraw the nomination of Gina Haspel for CIA director. From what is
already known of her leading role in CIA torture 16 years ago, she has
Yes, I completely agree
with this. Here is more:
In 2002 Haspel supervised the
first CIA “black site” for interrogation, where cruel and bizarre forms
of torture were applied to suspected terrorists. And when the existence
of 92 videotapes of those torture sessions was revealed, Haspel signed
a cable ordering their destruction, against the advice of legal counsel
at CIA and the White House.
We believe that
Defense Secretary James Mattis’ lack of enthusiasm for torture reflects
lessons drawn from the historical experience of the Marine Corps, as
well. Not to mention the twin reality that torture brutalizes the
brutalizer, and that US use of torture puts our own troops in serious
jeopardy when captured. Moreover, there is no more effective
recruitment tool than torture to attract more terrorists.
I agree with this as well.
Here is more:
Please also be aware that
many signatories to the UN Convention Against Torture take seriously
their obligations under the principle of “universal jurisdiction,”
which applies when those who authorize or practice torture are not
brought to justice by authorities in their home countries.
George W. Bush experienced
a precarious brush with this reality in 2011, when he had to abruptly
cancel a visit to Geneva, Switzerland, after discovering that plans
were in place to arrest him as soon as he stepped onto Swiss
soil. [See “America’s
Stay-at-Home Ex-President”] The widely respected European Center
for Constitutional and Human Rights already has made no secret of its
intention to proceed quickly against Haspel, should she set foot in
And again quite so. And
here is more:
We Veteran Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) are extremely concerned at the
possibility that Gina Haspel might become the next Director of the CIA.
Haspel actually supervised a CIA “black site” codenamed “Cat’s Eye” in
Thailand where a number of suspected terrorists were tortured. She
subsequently collaborated in destroying all 92 videotapes of the
torture sessions, effectively covering up what were likely serious war
The UN Convention defines torture “as any act by which
severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is
intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from
him, or a third person, information or a confession…” and makes
clear that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of
war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other
public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
Precisely, and I fully
agree with the UN Convention. Here is the last bit that I quote from
I completely agree, and I
only add that waterboarding was regarded as torture by the
Dutch (who did it on Javanese) in the 17th Century, while "physical threats to family members" are sick, sickening and beastly.
It is our collective
judgment that the loathsome physical abuses that included beatings,
repeated waterboardings and anal violations referred to as “rectal
feeding” — as well as physical threats to family members — cannot be
whitewashed with the convenient euphemism of “enhanced interrogation.”
All of those are acts of torture — plain and simple.
And this is a recommended article.
Call to the Media: Let's Go Beyond "Preserving Democracy"
This article is by Maya Schenwar, who is the editor-in-chief
on Truthout. This is from near the beginning:
Last year, when the
Trump administration crashed into office, much of its media
manipulation strategy looked familiar to me, although it was less slick
in some of its methods. Just as "freedom of expression" had meant the
freedom to express DHS press releases more than 13 years ago, "freedom of speech," in 2017, meant expanding
the influence of churches in politics and eroding rights to
contraception (as in Trump's executive order removing the mandate for
employers to cover birth control), not to mention bolstering and
legitimizing Nazis. However, unlike the Bush administration, which
worked to covertly redirect the media to serve its agenda, the Trump
administration positioned itself as an adversary, becoming openly
outraged at the press.
I think this is more or
less correct. Here is more:
As a result, the
overall perception of the mainstream media's relationship to the White
House shifted. Suddenly, journalists of nearly all stripes were seen as
rebels and heroes, standing up against authoritarianism.
This also may be mostly correct,
although my own "overall
perception of the mainstream media"
did not shift, but then I am closely following at least 35
sites every day for nearly 5 years now, and very few non-journalists do
Then there is this:
journalism institution -- including those with legacies of
condoning chattel slavery, Indigenous genocide, the prison industrial
complex and the deportation of millions -- was now a champion of
freedom, especially if it was disliked by Donald Trump. Being
attacked by Trump became a media badge of honor: proof that one was on
the side of keeping democracy alive.
Yes, though with a similar
remark as I gave to the previous quotation. But from now on it gets pretty
vague and imprecise:
In the weeks and
months ahead, I would encourage us to question our tendency to want to
uplift the institutions that foster and preserve the status quo, to say
things like "these are the institutions that preserve our
democracy." The idea that preservation must be our mission, and
that guarding existing institutions is the best we can do in terms of
maintaining a "free press," is a death knell for freedom, in any real
sense of that word.
Well... I do not
say "No!", but I myself - at least - never thought or said or
wrote any of these things, not in 68 years.
Here is more by Schenwar:
What if we thought
of journalism, of media, as something diffuse, flexible and alive? An
energy, instead of a building where rich people live? Perhaps
"media" should be a verb instead of a noun -- in flux, moving,
responsive instead of isolated. At its roots and at its heart,
"media" just means a mode of connection, an intermediary,
a channel between people.
If you believe that
proposal makes any sense - "media" NB: all media, not just the
non-mainstream ones - "as something diffuse, flexible and alive"; ""media" should be a verb instead of a noun"; and ""media" just means
(..) "a channel between people" - you may explain
it to me, but to me this sounds as a combination of nonsense and falsehoods.
The same applies to the last bit that I quote from this article:
propaganda, is art, is lifesaving communication, is misinformation.
That's why instead of simply applauding it or condemning it, each of us
need to think about what we will make of it -- or how we can and are
making it -- ourselves.
And we were just told that
""media" just means
a channel between people"
while were are now told it also "is propaganda, is art, is lifesaving
communication, is misinformation"?!
And even without mentioning "the giving of credible or
true information"?! And besides: "each
of us" covers half of the
population with an IQ less than 100, while few of us do work in
or for the media.
So no - either I totally misunderstand this article or it is of little
or no help whatsoever.
have now been
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 (!!).