from January 12, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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) 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 January 12, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. House Dems Join With GOP to 'Violate the Privacy Rights of
2. Ecuador Grants Citizenship to WikiLeaks Founder Assange
3. How Should Journalists Report on the #MeToo Movement?
4. A Watergate Moment? The Fusion GPS Testimony Could Change
5. The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate
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:
Dems Join With GOP to 'Violate the Privacy Rights of Everyone in United
This article is by Jon Queally on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
much of the last twelve months denouncing the legitimate threat posed
by President Donald Trump's penchant for authoritarian policies and
behavior, 65 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday
joined with 191 Republicans in passing a bill that advocates of civil
liberties warn will lead to the wholesale violation 'of
rights for everyone in the United States.'
And this is at the same time good reason not to believe or vote
either the corrupt Democrats or the fraudulent Republicans:
Apparently most members from both groups in the House are for
unconstitutional spying on everyone anywhere, that now
has been going
on since 2001 (at least). And I think that is also the best
argument where the
present USA are headed, given the ruling powers of this handful of
corrupt or fraudulent politicians: Towards neofascism
Here is Edward Snowden:
Yes indeed. And here is Neema
Singh Guliani from the ACLU:
"The House voted today to
give President Trump and his administration more spying powers," said
Neema Singh Guliani, policy counsel with the ACLU, in a statement
following the vote. "The government will use this bill to continue
warrantless intrusions into Americans’ private emails, text messages,
and other communications."
And while "no president
should have this power," Guliani continued, "members of Congress just
voted to hand it to an administration that has labeled individuals as
threats based merely on their religion, nationality, or viewpoints."
Once again I do
like to point out this is out-and-out totalitarianism
in my and Orwell´s and many other usages of
¨totalitarianism¨ but not
according to the sick and
totalitarian Wikipedia, where some neofascists, degenerates or idiots
redefined ¨totalitarianism¨ in such a way that only states can be totalitarian,
but no persons, no
politics, no ideology, no policies, no plans, no
proposals and no political parties can ever be
totalitarian - that is, in the sick and
degenerate present style of the Wikipedia (that seems to be taken
by anonymous rich rightist forces with this and other total nonsense,
although I do not know enough about Wikipedia to prove this).
Here is more on the real
Democrats actual wishes, which are pro totalitarianism and anti democracy:
Though Democrats have a
long history—including under the previous administration of President
Barack Obama—of backing mass surveillance and submitting to the demands
of U.S. intelligence agencies, critics point out the hard-to-ignore
hypocrisy of those who have endlessly warned against Trump's
authoritarian tendencies with one hand, while supporting these
repressive and anti-democratic surveillance powers with the other. As
Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation,
argued in a tweet:
Democratic leadership in the House—who say that Trump is
currently abusing his power to go after his political enemies—just
helped him pass dangerous domestic surveillance powers.
Precisely. And this is a speaker for the Free Press Action Fund:
Yes and no: I entirely
agree with Sandra Fulton, but I would also have liked to read
Sandra Fulton, government relations manage for the Free
Press Action Fund, said "the last thing Congress should be doing"
is renewing a law that allows U.S. intelligence agencies "to continue
spying on the communications of people in the United States, forfeiting
the essential privacy rights" of every person in the United States. "No
government entity should have such oppressive surveillance powers,"
Fulton said. "This unconstitutional legislation will allow the FBI to
continue sifting through the data even when those searches don’t
involve a specific criminal investigation."
(i) there are no ¨essential
privacy rights¨ for anybody
not living in the USA: My
mails are completely
open to the NSA and the FBI, and so is everyone´s
mail, if he
or she is not born in the USA (which is a fucking shame), and that
(ii) it seems as if every secret
service of any country anywhere, if it has access to some of
the cables that transport internet, also thereby has access
to many or all of the mails anyone sends using these cables (which
are set automatically).
And for me this is a straight road to neofascism
Absolutely everyone living
absolutely anywhere now can
be subjected, by any of seventy or more
secret services, to the control of his or her total
e-mails, and to secret Denials, Disruptions, Degradations and
Deceptions by any anonymous
member of any of seventy or more
Incidentally, the above is from the English secret service GCHQ, but as
In fact each and every secret service
now has these possibilities. And that is
the end of any democracy, until
this secret spying by every secret
service is totally and effectively outlawed - on which there
is no chance these days.
As shown by the present decision. And this is a strongly
Grants Citizenship to WikiLeaks Founder Assange
This article is by Gonzalo Solano on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Ecuador has granted
citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after more than five
years of living in asylum at the nation’s embassy in London, officials
Foreign Minister Maria
Fernanda Espinosa said officials accepted Assange’s request for
naturalization in December, and they continue to look for a long-term
resolution to a situation that has vexed officials since 2012.
“What naturalization does
is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection,” Espinosa
Ecuador gave Assange asylum
after he sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden
for investigation of sex-related claims. Sweden dropped the case, but
Assange has remained in the embassy because he is still subject to
arrest in Britain for jumping bail.
He also fears a possible
U.S. extradition request based on his leaking of classified State
I did not know
that Ecuador has granted citizenship to Julian Assange. I did
know all of the rest, and indeed have been reporting on it since 2012.
Then again it is a
question how much Ecuadorian citizenship may help Assange:
And I do not
know the answer to my question, but I do hope Assange can -
somehow, and I do not know how - escape living in Britain (in
Ecuadorian embassy) without being arrested by the English
services or the English police.
The new citizenship status,
however, appears to change little for Assange in the immediate future.
He would still need to alert British authorities of any movement
outside the embassy.
“Even if he has two or
three nationalities, the United Kingdom will continue in its efforts
against him,” said Fredy Rivera, an expert in foreign affairs at the
Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Ecuador.
Espinosa said Ecuador is
trying to make Assange a member of its diplomatic team, which would
grant him additional rights under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
Relations, including special legal immunity and safe passage.
Britain’s Foreign Office
said earlier Thursday it has rejected Ecuador’s request to grant him
diplomatic status in the U.K.
Should Journalists Report on the #MeToo Movement?
This article is by Emily Wells on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
#MeToo presents a unique
challenge for journalism. As the
movement continues to reveal widespread experiences of sexual
harassment and assault among women, questions must be raised about how
journalists (reporters, writers and editors) ought to handle these
now-common stories—which often have been hidden in plain sight.
At a recent Truthdig
editorial meeting, we thought about our own coverage of #MeToo. How can
we best do our job while reporting on the movement? It’s one thing to
report on the immense significance of #MeToo—and insist on its
integrity and importance—and another to hold sexual assault allegations
to the same journalistic standards as any other story.
In fact, I am a bit
startled by this introduction, for the simple reason that I would (and
do) assume that all good journalism is truthful, honest and
well-written, and the same applies to the present subject
Then again, I also
understand that reporting on sexual matters still seems to be difficult
in the USA (and elsewhere also, though this article is about the USA)
while the #MeToo movement is
mostly a solidarity movement among American women, that happens mostly
on Twitter (or so it seems: I despise Twitter and do not use
there tends to be often little or no public evidence that this or that
woman was abused - which indeed does not mean that she was not.
Here is a bit more on the
position of women who complained about sexual harassment:
We are witnessing a
cultural paradigm shift in real time. Now, a woman disclosing an
allegation of sexual harassment, or worse, can hope to be believed,
partly because of the sheer numbers of men in power being outed. But
this has not always been the case.
And here is a bit more
about ¨the complicity machine¨ - of lawyers, staffers and also
journalists - who helped Weinstein to keep his harassments a secret:
Yes, that seems to me to
be quite correct. There is - of course - a difficulty:
Machine,” an excellent piece
in The New York Times,
Journalists are not spared
from this complicity. A network of reporters helped Weinstein keep his
reputation intact (..)
demonstrates the web of
complicity that allowed Weinstein’s abuse to continue—agents who
ignored complaints, lawyers and staffers who arranged for nondisclosure
agreements, and actors and actresses who kept quiet out of concern for
However, evidence of
harassment is often abstract and difficult to prove. Rape kits often remain untested in police and
crime labs, and without a recording or text exchange, harassment can be
difficult to document. Though journalists have a responsibility to
probe the political incentivizing of allegations, at what point does
the investigation become victim blaming?
It also is worth noting that
false accusations from individual women are quite rare.
This is also true.
In fact, there seem to
be at least three problems with complaints about sexual
it simply is not clear what does and does not constitute
harassment, at least fairly often; (ii) sexual harassment tends to be private
and painful and also risky for victims to report; and (iii) there
is a real possibility that some claims of sexual harassment are - for
various reasons - not true.
I grant all three
problems, but will say something only about the first problem:
While I do not
think that all claims of sexual harassment are serious, I also
that quite a few of the stories I read about sexual harassment - e.g.
by Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby - are quite serious, and
also should be taken quite serious. (In fact, I think both
Weinstein and Cosby not only committed a lot of sexual harassment, but
also a lot of sadism.)
And this is a
recommended article, in which there also is considerably more than I
Watergate Moment? The Fusion GPS Testimony Could Change History
This article is by Heather Digby Parton on AlterNet and originally on
Salon. It starts as follows:
One of the most
misunderstood quotes from the Watergate scandal is also one of the most
famous: "What did the president know and when did he know it?" That was
uttered by Sen. Howard Baker, a Tennessee Republican, and it's often
assumed it was a tough question hurled at a recalcitrant witness,
seeking to implicate Richard Nixon. In fact, it was the opposite. Baker
asked that question repeatedly, early in the Watergate hearings, in an
attempt to wall off the president from the suspected criminality of his
staff. Of course, Nixon actually ran the coverup, as
the committee holding those hearings was about to find out.
I take it
that all of this is true. (In fact, I was around 22 when Nixon was
president of the USA, and I followed most of it, and now most of it is
true, after the Watergate hearings, but indeed I forgot about Howard
Here is more on the question in the title:
If Nixon were around
today, he'd be able to see how it might have gone if the Republicans
had held a congressional majority and supporters like Baker had labored
to keep the investigations under wraps. The only dramatic public
hearings we've had in the Russia investigation so far involved the
testimony of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former FBI
Director James Comey, and that was more than six months ago. All the
important players, including Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, have
testified in secret, with members of the committees more or less under
a gag order and only able to comment on what's already in the press.
From which it follows
that, at least here and now, the attempts to get rid of Donald Trump as
president of the USA have not - yet? - reached the Watergate
stage, and also that it seems as if the main reasons are that the
Republicans control both the Senate and the House.
And this is a recommended article.
FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate
This article is by Ray McGovern on Consortiumnews. It starts
becoming FBI-gate, thanks to the official release of unguarded text
messages between loose-lipped FBI counterintelligence official Peter
Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Ten
illustrative texts from their exchange appear at the end of this
Despite his former job as
chief of the FBI’s counterintelligence section, Strzok had the naive
notion that texting on FBI phones could not be traced. Strzok must have
slept through “Security 101.” Or perhaps he was busy texting
during that class. Girlfriend Page cannot be happy at being misled by
his assurance that using office phones would be a secure way to conduct
It would have been
unfortunate enough for Strzok and Page to have their
adolescent-sounding texts merely exposed, revealing the reckless
abandon of star-crossed lovers hiding (they thought) secrets from
cuckolded spouses, office colleagues, and the rest of us. However, for
the never-Trump plotters in the FBI, the official release of just
a fraction (375) of almost 10,000 messages does incalculably more
damage than that.
I say, which I do
because the existence of the Strzok-Page e-mails was unknown to me
Here is why that is
We suddenly have
documentary proof that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community
were trying to short-circuit the U.S. democratic process. And that
puts in a new and dark context the year-long promotion of Russia-gate.
It now appears that it was not the Russians trying to rig the outcome
of the U.S. election, but leading officials of the U.S. intelligence
community, shadowy characters sometimes called the Deep State.
Here is some
First, ¨Russia-gate¨ is
about an accusation that seem to have started with Hillary Clinton,
back in 2016, as an explanation why she lost the elections to Trump.
It seemed to me then
(in 2016) false, and indeed I wrote then also three reviews of
it (in 2016), namely here, here and here. There is considerably more
in 2017. If you are interested, search the
index with ¨Russia-gate¨.
And second, ¨the
Deep State¨ was popularized (though not
invented) by Mike
Lofgren in the beginning of 2016. Again, there is considerably more
in the indexes for 2016 and 2017.
Here is the main
lesson (or ¨casualty¨) of the Strzok-Page e-mails:
But the main casualty is
the FBI’s 18-month campaign to sabotage candidate-and-now-President
Donald Trump by using the Obama administration’s Russia-gate
intelligence “assessment,” electronic surveillance of dubious legality,
and a salacious dossier that could never pass the smell test, while at
the same time using equally dubious techniques to immunize Hillary
Clinton and her closest advisers from crimes that include lying to the
FBI and endangering secrets.
Precisely. Here is some
more, that is in fact about either the dishonesty or the corruption of
many journalists working for the American mainstream media:
Doubts about the Russian
“hack” or dissident suggestions that what we were witnessing
was a “soft coup” were scoffed at by leading media commentators.
Other warnings from veteran U.S. intelligence professionals about the
weaknesses of the Russia-gate narrative and the danger of letting
politicized intelligence overturn a constitutional election were also
brushed aside in pursuit of the goal of removing Trump from the White
It didn’t even seem to
matter when new Russia-gate
disclosures conflicted with the
original narrative that Putin had somehow set Trump up as a
Manchurian candidate. All normal journalistic skepticism was
jettisoned. It was as if the Russia-gate advocates started with the
conclusion that Trump must go and then made the facts fit into that
mold, but anyone who noted the violations of normal investigative
procedures was dismissed as a “Trump enabler” or a “Moscow stooge.”
Yes, that seems quite
true - and see, if you are interested, the many reviews of
¨Russia-gate¨ that I gave in 2017.
There are many there (you can find them with ¨Russia-¨ in the
and indeed all accord with the present article, and indeed most
triggered by articles on Consortiumnews.
Here is more, and
namely on what to do now:
At this point, the $64
question is whether the various congressional oversight committees will
remain ensconced in their customarily cozy role as “overlook”
committees, or whether they will have the courage to attempt to carry
out their Constitutional duty. The latter course would mean
confronting a powerful Deep State and its large toolbox of
well-practiced retaliatory techniques, including J. Edgar Hoover-style
blackmail on steroids, enabled by electronic surveillance of just about
everything and everyone. Yes, today’s technology permits blanket
collection, and “Collect Everything” has become the motto.
I think that for
now and the near future (at least) ¨the various congressional oversight
committees will remain ensconced in their customarily cozy role as
“overlook” committees¨, in
fact simply because most of the members of Congress have been corrupted.
Here is the last bit
about the Strzok-Page e-mails:
Thanks to the almost 10,000
text messages between Strzok and Page, only a small fraction of which
were given to Congress four weeks ago, there is now real evidentiary
meat on the bones of the suspicions that there indeed was a “deep-state
coup” to “correct” the outcome of the 2016 election. We now know that
the supposedly apolitical FBI officials had huge political axes to
I wonder how many
these ¨almost 10,000 text
messages¨ will be
published. But it is - at least - quite good there is now direct
against ¨Russia-gate¨, 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 (!!).