from March 28, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
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 28, 2018
1. Whistleblower: Facebook Data Likely Used for Brexit
2. Thomas Piketty Sees Only One Way to Defeat the Rise of the
Behind Stormy's Saga: Trump's Systematic
Payoff Machine Is the Real
4. How Trump is Preparing for War
5. As Feds Launch Probe, Users Discover 'Horrifying' Reach of
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:
1. Whistleblower: Facebook Data Likely Used
This article is by Danica Kirka on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
The computer expert
who alleges a trove of Facebook data was improperly used to help Donald
Trump’s White House bid said Tuesday that he strongly believes the
information was also used by the Brexit movement that persuaded Britain
to quit the European Union.
In a 3½-hour hearing, Chris
Wylie told the House of Commons media committee that he believes the
breach exceeded the 50 million Facebook users reported earlier — though
he didn’t give an exact figure. And he said the data compiled by the
political consulting business Cambridge Analytica was available to
other firms with links to it.
“All kinds of people had
access to the data,” said Wylie, who helped develop Cambridge
Analytica’s methods for using the information to target and persuade
voters. “It was everywhere.”
Among the companies that
had access to the data was AggregateIQ, a Canadian political consultant
that did work for Vote Leave, the official campaign backing Britain’s
withdrawal from the EU, Wylie said.
I say, for I did not
know most of this and it is quite interesting, simply because
constitutes a - very small, in my own guess - part of the gigantic
dishonesty and the astounding manipulations that are
implicit in the
model that Brzezinksi and his mates
already in the late 1960ies, and managed to incorporate in PCs and
I am sorry if you do
not know more, and there is more here, but I will not repeat
Here is more:
Wylie has previously
alleged that Cambridge Analytica used personal data improperly
collected from Facebook users to help Trump’s 2016 presidential
Cambridge Analytica says
none of the Facebook data was used in its work on the Trump campaign.
It denies any wrongdoing.
And as I say ¨of
course!¨ to Cambridge Analytica´s neofascism, I
am willing to add that
every 10 pounds their speakers earn that is more than the
English salary takes away 1 point in their over all credibility (with a
process for measures between 0.99 and 1). Using that hypothetical
process, my faith in the truth of
pronouncedments can be estimated as being in the vicinity of 0.000001%,
for they have far too much to loose to speak honestly
their firm does.
Piketty Sees Only One Way to Defeat the Rise of the Radical Right
This article is by Keith A. Spencer on AlterNet and
originally on Salon. It starts as follows:
In a new
paper, French political economist Thomas Piketty, author of the
bestselling 2013 book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," argues
that Western political parties on the right and left have both
become parties of the "elites."
I think that may
very well be correct for Europe (where I live) and it is
correct for the USA, where it is now much easier to predict voting
behavior of elected politicians if you know
which lobbyists pay them to
get the decisions the lobbyists want (which tends to be a secret).
Then there is this, which I trust less because it seems to be
against ¨the elite¨ and towards the most stupid:
Yet over time, those
parties, Piketty explains, "gradually become associated with higher
education voters," which he describes as creating a system of
"multiple-elite" parties where "high-education elites now vote for the
'left,' while high-income/high-wealth elites still vote for the 'right'
(though less and less so)." In other words, both sides of the
spectrum became parties of the elite, with no party for less educated
folks or the working class.
Piketty argues that this
situation "contributes to rising inequality and lack of
democratic response to it," as well as the rise of populists like
Le Pen in France and Nigel
Farage in Britain. "Without a strong
egalitarian- internationalist platform, it is difficult to unite low-
education, low-income voters from all origins within the same party,"
What I have against this is
mostly the language, which is in terms of ¨elites¨ (which is a very
vague and pliable term, though some people really are naturally
taller, or better tennis players than others), while
I have seen something like 45 years of utter
abuse of the term
¨elite¨ by the - extremely quasi ¨leftist¨, very Stalinistic,
extremely dishonest - student- politicians that ruled the Dutch
universities from 1971 till 1995 (after which the complete ¨democracy¨
in the Dutch ¨universities¨ was totally quashed and all
- once again - to a handful of complete authoritarians).
language, Pikkety´s ideas appear fairly normal (but since I am
intellectual who - unlike most intellectuals - did get
real proletarians who had no more than 2 guilders 50 cents (less than a
dollar) + a stove when they married, I do not
share many of the
shared by intellectuals, born from intellectuals, about ¨the
Here is more:
Meanwhile, the strategy of
Bernie Sanders — mirrored in other left organizing groups in the United
States that seek to push the Democratic Party to the left, including
Our Revolution and Democratic
Socialists of America — is to offer a more
serious material analysis of the underpinnings of oppression
and suffering in the United States, and to scapegoat income inequality
caused by an unjust economic system propped up by the elite. Sanders
and his counterparts overseas, particularly U.K. Labour Party
leader Jeremy Corbyn, offer that aforementioned "strong
egalitarian-internationalist platform" that has the potential
to "unite low-education, low-income voters from all origins," as
the ending of this article:
Well... here is one
For Berniecrats, democratic
socialists and those even further left, there's much to love in
Piketty's paper. His conclusion, one echoed by the Sanders wing of the
Democratic party, is essentially that ostensibly "left" parties — e.g.
the Democrats in the United States, Labour in the U.K. or the Socialist
Party in France — have lost the constituencies they once supported and
now appeal to the elite, leaving a vast underclass politically
unrepresented and rudderless. Piketty is giving them a
rudder, if the parties can seize it.
If the ¨ostensibly
parties¨ now do
listen to and ¨appeal to
the elite¨ (which
the way?), then why would the ¨low-education, low-income voters from all origins¨ not
be listening to ¨the
elite¨ (in the papers they may read, and the television they may view)?!
I am just asking and did not find this article very
is, apart from avoidable nonsense about a totally
Stormy's Saga: Trump's Systematic Payoff Machine Is the Real Story
This article is by Heather Digby Parton on AlterNet and
originally on Salon. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed: That may all
be quite correct, and I also agree with Parton that one cannot
president who forces those who work for him to ¨sign nondisclosure
What's unfolding isn't just
a story about a rich man's extracurricular liaisons or his alleged
episodes of illegal sexual misconduct. The first isn't really of much
interest except to the extent that it exposes the flagrant hypocrisy of
his supporters, who rent their garments over the personal immorality of
presidents of the past and now profess to be uninterested in such
private matters. The second is a disgrace that may yet have a reckoning
if another accuser, Summer Zervos, gets her day in court.
But beyond the cultural and
social aspects of this scandal and what it says about the privileges of
rich, white men and the exploitation of women, there is another serious
issue of national civic importance. This is a story about a rich (and
now extremely powerful) man who is so worried about being exposed or
blackmailed that he has everyone who works for him sign nondisclosure
agreements. Now it appears that he set up an elaborate system for
paying hush money to keep people quiet. If Karen McDougal and Stormy
Daniels are telling the truth this system may include coercion,
conspiracy and threats of violence.
There is also the problem of the threats:
sound much more far-fetched if it weren't for the fact that Cohen
himself is known to threaten people with language out of a
grade-B gangster movie, and if Trump's former bodyguard Keith Schiller
wasn't on film manhandling reporters at Trump's
instruction (among other things). According to BuzzFeed, in 2009 an attorney
representing some of the people who stood to lose fortunes in Trump's
umpteenth casino bankruptcy reported a threatening phone call to the
FBI in which the person said, "My name is Carmine. I don’t know why
you’re fucking with Mr. Trump but if you keep fucking with Mr. Trump,
we know where you live and we’re going to your house for your wife and
kids." They traced the call to a pay phone in New York, across the
street from where Trump was appearing on David Letterman at the same
I agree to this. In sum, my own
guesses are that the threats did happen, but they probably are less
dangerous as long as Trump is president. (But these are mere guesses.)
And this is from the ending of this article:
Donald Trump could
not pass a background check to work as a security guard at the Mall of
America, much less the White House. It is clear that he has paid hush
money to people and worked in concert with friends to keep them quiet.
All of this can only lend more credibility to the suspicion that he
might be subject to blackmail by other people, beyond the women with
whom he's had sex.
Yes, I agree - but this is a
guess. And this is a recommended paper.
4. How Trump is Preparing for War
article is by Robert Reich in his site. It starts as follows:
What’s worrying isn’t that
Trump is now getting advice about policy from fanatics like John Bolton
and Lawrence Kudlow. Trump has
never cared about policy.
The real worry is that –
with Robert Mueller breathing
down his neck, and several special elections suggesting a giant “blue
November – Trump is getting ready to do whatever it takes to maintain
his power, even if that
requires fanatical policies.
Trump is preparing for an
epic war over the future of his presidency. This has required
from his Cabinet and White House staff, and replacing them with
bomb-throwing advocates like Bolton and
I think this is a
reasonable guess. Here is more:
Fox News is preparing for
the same war, and has made a parallel purge – removing Trump
critics like George Will, Megyn Kelly, and Rich
installing Trump marketers like Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and
Trump and Fox News are also
approaching the war with the same
Some of it is by now
familiar: Liberals have opened America to hostile
forces – unauthorized immigrants, Muslims, Chinese traders, criminal
drug dealers, government bureaucrats, coastal elites (Hillary Clinton,
Pelosi), North Korea, Iran, and “political correctness” in all its
Trump intends to protect
America from these forces.
Yes, and this is totalitarian
in all its aspects - except that it cannot
be by the neofascist
redefining of the meaning of ¨totalitarian¨ on the extremely fastly worsening Wikipedia.
On Wikipedia none
of the above can possibly be in any sense
¨totalitarian¨ for no persons, no plans, no values, no ideas, no political parties, no papers - in brief, absolutely
nothing can be called ¨totalitarian¨ according to the
neofascistic recent redefinition of the term there, unless
each of these activities take part in a ¨totalitarian state¨
It also implies that George Orwell
and myself must have been total idiots when we use the
term in our senses, and that I have been completely dreaming
of any kind except in totalitarian states (specifically: Russia
I think the
redefinition was intentionally falsifying, is very sick,
and has, probably forever, completely altered
my credibility in utter and intentional liars of this level.
And I stop with further
reviewing this here and now, except for referring you to
Wikipedia´s own post (!!) on the not very honest Jimmy
Wales, who started it all with Larry Sanger, except
that Wales likes to eradicate all references to Sanger. (And here is
more about Wikipedia´s criticism
Back to Reich´s article:
Trump has made John Bolton
Security Advisor not because Bolton has valuable insights about foreign
affairs, but because
Bolton – for years, an on-air fixture on Fox News – is a showman who
knows how to sell big lies and crazy ideas, and
thereby help Trump in the looming battles.
Quite possibly so. Here
is the ending of this article:
“He’s looking for people
who are ready to be part of that
television White House,” says Kendall Phillips, a communication studies
professor at Syracuse University. “This is the Fox television
the way up and down.”
How can a television
presidency be dangerous? Because it is solely
about marketing Trump. Its only goal is to win. It is unconstrained by
or the Constitution. It doesn’t give a fig about the public.
When the occupant of the
White House and the sycophants
surrounding him are prepared to do and use anything – including trade
wars with China and possibly hot wars with North Korea and Iran – to
win a political war at home, nothing and
no one is safe.
I mostly agree,
although I think Trump does ¨give a fig about the public¨´s ideas and values,
though I agree he does not ¨give a
fig about the public¨´s interests.
And this is a recommended article.
Feds Launch Probe, Users Discover 'Horrifying' Reach of Facebook's Data
This article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts
As the fallout from
Analytica scandal continued on Monday with the Federal Trade
Commission's (FTC) announcement that it is conducting a long-overdue
probe into the tech giant's privacy practices, many Facebook users are
only now discovering the astonishing and in some cases downright "creepy"
reach of the platform's data-mining operations, which
form the foundation of its business model.
Yes indeed. I must say I
am a bit skeptical about the Facebook probe, though I admit
that this is not due to its necessity (I agree), but to the
probable fact that it will not get much from either Zuckerberg
of Facebook about its actual policies and practices, where it only on
the ground that honesty about these matters might cost
Zuckerberg - who worked himself up from nothing to a $70 billion billionaire in a few years of defrauding billions
of his users - some money.
Anyway. Here is more:
After a New
Zealand man named
Dylan McKay called attention in a viral
Yes indeed, and I add that
- according to me - Facebook really
operates on the same rules that the NSA
uses: Collect anything and everything you can get, but bullshit and lie
about it as mucgh as you can.
last week to the alarming fact
that Facebook had collected his "entire call history" with his
partner's mother and "metadata about every text message [he's] ever
received or sent," other Facebook users began downloading their archive
of personal data the social media giant had stored and discovered that
McKay's experience was hardly anomalous.
Here is one of the many tricks Facebook used (and remember that the
vast majority of its over 2 billion users are ignorant about computing,
ignorant about programming, ignorant about law, and ignorant about the
very many deceptions of Zuckerberg):
was technically 'opt-in,' in both these cases the opt-in was the
default installation mode for Facebook's application, not a separate
notification of data collection," Ars reported. "Facebook
never explicitly revealed that the data was being collected, and it was
only discovered as part of a review of the data associated with the
Yes indeed. And here is
more about the level of detail that Mark Zuckerberg actively tried
to know about absolutely everyone:
the phone number of my late grandmother who never had a Facebook
account, or even an email address," O'Brien wrote. "It preserved the
conversations I had with an ex—someone with whom I thought I had
deleted my digital ties. It even recalled times I was 'poked,' a
feature I had forgotten about."
In brief, Facebook
downloads and keeps (forever, presumably) absoutely anything on
everyone who got to be its member, including (i) the phone number of
dead grandmothers who never even had an email account, and also (ii) all the data of all
the ¨friends¨ (hundreds, it seems) that Facebooks chooses to assign to
you, for this is how Cambridge
Analytica could get the data of 50 million American users of
Facebook from 250,000 original data.
the last bit that I quote from this article:
polling data conducted in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica
revelations, it appears that Facebook is going to have a difficult time
regaining lost trust. A Reuters/Ipsos survey
published on Sunday found that just 41 percent of Americans "trust
Facebook to obey laws that protect their personal information."
I do hope so, but
I grant I am quite skeptical, indeed in part because ¨41 percent of Americans "trust
Facebook to obey laws that protect their personal information"", for that is utter rot hardly anyone
And this is a recommended article.
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 (!!).