from March 25, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 25, 2018
1. How Calls for Privacy May Upend Business for
Facebook and Google
2. We Should Not Reward the Authors of Torture
In the Terrifying John Bolton, Trump Finds His
4. Journalism of, by and for the Elite
5. Read Karl Marx! A Conversation With Immanuel Wallerstein
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:
Calls for Privacy May Upend Business for Facebook and Google
This article is by
David Streitfeld, Natasha Singer and Steven Erlanger on The New York
Times. It starts as follows:
internet was built on a bargain: Show us who you really are and the
digital world will be free to search or share.
their interests and obsessions on Facebook and Google, generating a
river of data that could be collected and harnessed for advertising.
The companies became very rich. Users seemed happy. Privacy was deemed
obsolete, like bloodletting and milkmen.
I am sorry, but
I was there, for I have a personal computer since 1987
and indeed used
a personal computer - an Apple II, from a friend - now and then from
1979 till 1986.
And what you are
telling the world is an utter, sick, and extremely degenerate
totally conscious lie.
Here is my
First of all,
the contemporary internet was not at all built on a bargain.
What there were, from the early 90ies onwards (which I did follow on
internet computers in the ¨university¨ of Amsterdam) was extreme
millionfold repeated enthusiasm about democracy, about freedom, about
free books, about personal and intellectual development of everyone
I heard or read absolutely
nothing about your duty (and the duties of billions of
¨Show us who you really are and
the digital world will be free to search or share.
It is an utter
and total lie. (I agree
the reception of the internet was sickeningly
positive and almost completely ignorant.
But somebody who tells me
anybody ever told me or anyone else in the Nineties that we had
the - aspiring - neofascist
billionaires ¨who [we] really are¨ so that
thereby ¨the digital world will
be free to search or share¨ is
sick and sickening total liar.)
Next the second
paragraph also is composed of utterly conscious total lies:
¨People¨ did NOT
¨detail their interests and obsessions on Facebook and Google¨ for
Facebook started some 10 or more years after the
internet started, and
Google did not offer many opportunities to ¨detail their interests and obsessions¨, though it is true
most people did their searches from the beginning on Google.
no one in Facebook or Google ever
told anyone in the beginning
that their searches and their stolen emails ¨could be collected and harnessed for
advertising¨, or if these
possibilities were touched on Facebook it was mostly in the manner of:
¨If you become a member of Facebook, then Facebook will send you
that may help yoy save you money.¨
Also, while it
is probably true that most users of the internet between 1995 and 2005
were ¨happy¨ about the internet almost no one had ever told them
the extreme dangers of - secret - downloading of everything and
anything anybody did with an internet computer, it is utterly false
that ¨Privacy was deemed obsolete¨.
It may be true
that privacy was not often discussed until Edward Snowden
2013 how utterly corrupted the privacy of billions of computer users
was, but is is again a total lie that ¨Privacy
Then there is
this, also lies or utter ignorance:
revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a voter profiling company that had
worked with Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, harvested data from 50 million
Facebook users, raised the current uproar, even if the origins lie
as far back as the 2016 election. It has been many months of
allegations and arguments that the internet in general and social media
in particular are pulling
society down instead of lifting it up.
For it is a
total lie or else a token of utter ignorance that ¨the origins lie as far back as the 2016
election¨: The origins lie in 1992, when the DARPA opened an internet
that since 1967 had been intended to spy, spy, spy and spy on all users
of the internet, and which had been designed
to enable precisely that:
Spying, without any limit, on absolutely everybody.
Here are more
inspired a good deal of debate about more restrictive futures for
Facebook and Google. At the furthest extreme, some dream of the
companies becoming public utilities. More benign business models that
depend less on ads and more on subscriptions have been proposed,
although it’s unclear why either company would abandon something that
has made them so prosperous.
In fact, under the existing legal systems that allow almost
be done by Facebook, Google, Amazon etc. the only sensible
that everyone encrypts everything and especially his or her emails
(which are totally readable, and have been designed to be
readable) and browsing (Tor-browsing).
Here is the only
more or less honest pair of paragraphs in this series of lies,
propaganda and deceptions:
There are other avenues still, said Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, the
chief marketing officer of Mozilla, the nonprofit organization behind
the popular Firefox browser, including advertisers and large tech
platforms collecting vastly less user data and still effectively
customizing ads to consumers.
“They are just
collecting all the data to try to find magic growth algorithms,” Mr.
Kaykas-Wolff said of online marketers. This past week, Mozilla halted
its ads on Facebook, saying the social network’s default privacy
settings allowed access to too much data.
Both Facebook, Google etc. etc. etc. and the NSA, the CIA and the FBI
(etc. etc.) are “collecting all the data to try to
find magic growth algorithms”, although this should have been completed
(and may be was, in the original) by the statement that all these ¨magic growth algorithms¨ [programs - MM] are the secrets
those who (ab)use them.
Here is more
from the article - yet more total lies (by others, but
Mr. Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer,
seemed to accept the possibility
of increased privacy regulation, something that would have been
unlikely only a few months ago. But some trade group executives also
warned that any attempt to curb the use of consumer data would put the
business model of the ad-supported internet at risk.
Surely ¨some trade group executives¨ were in fact the neofascist, sadistic,
greedy, and money greedy degenerates who make millions a
billions of naive and ignorant
¨warning¨ that ¨any attempt to
curb the use of consumer data¨
was a sick, total, neofascist
and utterly sadistic
neofascistic and sadistic utter liar is quoted:
undermining a fundamental concept in advertising: reaching consumers
who are interested in a particular product,” said Dean C. Garfield,
chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, a trade group in
Washington whose members include Amazon, Facebook, Google and
No Garfield, as
you very well know you are much less interested in
advertising than in
manipulations of those you reach.
Anyway... I am so disgusted by all this
sick lying that I stop here: What horrible utterly degenerate liars work for
The New York Times!!!
Should Not Reward the Authors of Torture
is by Eugene Robinson on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
vowed during his campaign to bring back torture as a weapon against
terrorism. Now the Senate must stop him from installing as CIA director
a woman whose resume includes overseeing a disgraceful episode of
torture—and then joining in a cowardly effort to cover it up.
Yes indeed, and I
thoroughly agree. Here is more on why:
You will recall that the
Bush administration used the Orwellian term “enhanced interrogation
techniques,” perhaps in an attempt to convince those implementing the
policy that what they were doing was legally and morally acceptable.
But the euphemism is a despicable lie. Waterboarding is torture, and it
is clearly against the law.
After World War II, at the
Tokyo war crimes trials, a number of Japanese soldiers found guilty of
waterboarding prisoners of war were hanged or given long prison
sentences. U.S. victims testified to the gruesome horror of these
episodes of simulated drowning. No one questioned the fact that
waterboarding was a particularly sadistic form of torture. No one
should question it now.
Precisely - and incidentally,
the Dutch waterboarded the Javanese (and were proud of their conscious
tortures and often also of their sadism) in
the 17th Century.
Here is more:
The torture of al-Nashiri
was videotaped. Acting on orders from her CIA supervisor, Haspel wrote
a cable ordering the destruction of those tapes—even though she and the
supervisor had been told to preserve them as evidence in an ongoing
investigation. The videotapes were indeed destroyed.
And they were very probably
destroyed because Haspel knew this was strong evidence
that was and is internationally forbidden by law.
Here is the last bit I quote:
Yes again, although I add that
Trials insisted - quite correctly - that those who are
¨just following¨ illegal ¨orders¨ are guilty of the
crimes they commit.
It can be argued that
Haspel was just following orders, but she should have known that those
orders were illegal. And if she and others who played a role in
waterboarding did nothing wrong, then why did they destroy the
videotapes of those supposedly legitimate “enhanced interrogation”
And this is a strongly recommended article.
the Terrifying John Bolton, Trump Finds His National-Security Soul Mate
is by Heather Digby Parton on AlterNet and originally on Salon. This is
from near its beginning:
Of course it's
terrifying. John Bolton is a certifiable loon and everyone knows it.
But then, so was Michael Flynn, who briefly served as the president's
first national security adviser before tumbling into disgrace, guilty
pleas and a deal to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.
I more or less agree, although I
do not know that ¨John
Bolton is a certifiable loon¨,
that is, in a psychological or psychiatric sense.
But I do agree that he sounds quite crazy:
Bolton has always
been seen as a neocon, but that's not quite right. During the George W.
Bush years he was an insider in the crowd that included Richard Perle
and Paul Wolfowitz, the guys who wrote the manifesto for the Project for a New American Century, which served
as the theoretical basis for the Iraq war. The idea was that America
would be a benevolent unitary global superpower, spreading democracy
and capitalism across the world and taking down "bad guys" two at a
time so "freedom and liberty" would prevail. It was a Hollywood style
starry-eyed utopianism, at the point of a gun, that allowed a lot of
hawks to sing "Kumbaya" as they marched us off to war. We know how that
In fact, that was all propaganda
And here John Bolton´s crazy ideas are quoted in his own
As I said: It is possible
- to the best of my knowledge - that Bolton is not insane as
Trump is, but his opinions are utterly crazy.
There is no United
Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be
led by the only real power left in the world, and that's the United
States, when it suits our interests and when we can get others to go
along. ... The United States makes the UN work when it wants it to
work, and that is exactly the way it should be, because the only
question, only question, for the United States is what's in our
national interest. And if you don't like that, I'm sorry, but that is
-- Speech before the Global Structures Convocation in
New York, Feb. 3, 1994
If I were redoing the
Security Council today, I'd have one permanent member, because that's
the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world — the
-- Interview with Juan Williams on NPR, June 6, 2000
Here is the last quote, on Bolton´s totally sick stance on
On another occasion, Bolton declared that it
was "a big mistake" for the U.S. “to grant any validity to
international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to
do so — because over the long term, the goal of those who think that
international law really means anything are those who want to constrain
the United States.”
And the United States may not
be constrained by anyone at all, no matter how sadistic,
neofascist, sick and contrary to international law the things it does
are, according to John Bolton.
This is a recommended article.
of, by and for the Elite
is by Reed Richardson on Common Dreams.
As special introduction, I say that while the first article was an
article by rightist liars, I am rather certain this is by a leftist
And I know, because similar things were argued in
the late Sixties and early Seventies, when all highschool
had already been halved, and the university educations were
be halved (or more), which task was completed by 2008, when many
persons who were to get an engineering degree, in three years,
spend the first half year on learning the mathematics I had
(like nearly all my class mates) by the time I was 13 (in 1963).
In the late Sixties and early Seventies this was a somewhat popular
theme in Holland, because by then the existence of any -
elite was completely denied by almost everybody on ¨the left¨,
meant that everyone who wanted to become a medical doctor and had a
highschool diploma was forced to partake in a national
to decide whether he or she was allowed to be part of the fixed number
of medical students.
This also meant that a girl with a classical gymnasium diploma and
IQ over 150 was three times in sequence denied the chance of becoming a
medical doctor, for real intelligence
was then not admired but derided
I also learned quite a lot about - intellectual - elites in Holland.
The brief of it was that people who are really intelligent
be Dutch. This point of view now seems to have become a part of the
¨leftists¨ in the USA:
Just how elite these
papers have become was the subject of a new study from Jonathan Wai and
Kaja Perina, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University and the
editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, respectively. The two
have just published a survey in the Journal of Expertise (3/18)
[pdf] that looked at the educational backgrounds of hundreds of Times
and Journal staffers, comparing them to the elite individuals
these papers routinely cover. The survey reveals how the staffs of the Times
and Journal are starkly different than typical journalists.
In the first place (although I
take it Mr. Richardson is quite unhappy about this) it is a fact that
there are elites - in intelligence, in visual beauty, in
talents for sport, for mathematics, for running, for chess etc. etc.
and even (if one so cares) in length, paleness etc.
The reality is that the average New York Times reporter shares
much more in the way of educational and cultural background with those
they cover than with the general public.
It so happened that my ex and I are members of two elites: We
are quite intelligent (my ex had an IQ of 142 and I over 150 in
1978, and these numbers are very probably correct because my ex had
been specializing as a psychological assistant in testing IQs - and no:
I did not think then or now that IQs are a good
measure of real intelligence, but they still are the least bad,
at least for research) and we also are quite tall (both over 6
Incidentally, I have no idea of what Mr. Richardson means by an ¨elite¨
although I will assume that he means something like this: An elite
is a class of persons who excel the great majority in some desirable
characteristic (like intelligence, beauty, or talents for sport or
chess) - and please note that the concept is vague (for where
is the border between the great majority and the rest?).
Finally, I did know for a considerably longer time before knowing my IQ
that I was more intelligent than most I met, and acted accordingly.
Thus, I read many more books than anyone I knew, and I also tried to
find the least stupid daily I could find in Holland.
And now about The New York Times:
As a result, the
study concludes that, among those criteria, “top 1 percent people are
overrepresented among the New York Times and Wall Street
Journal mastheads by a factor of about 50.”
In fact, I take it this is
rather similar to the situation in Holland. In fact,
there is also this:
And even though most
journalists do not possess a master’s degree in the field, at the
Journal, more than half of reporters and editors had one (at the Times,
the number was lower, 14 percent).
Whereas I have one
excellent masters´ degree, one excellent bachelors´ degree in another
subject, while I could and would have had three masters´
- in philosophy, psychology and Norwegian - if the ¨University¨ of
Amsterdam had been run by competent and honest people
instead of by incompetent and morally degenerate liars
In any case: If the majority of journalists who write for the NYT did
not get more than a bachelors´ degree, I would say it
doesn´t seem to matter much with ¨the elites¨ in
But not according to Mr. Richardson:
Of course, it should
be noted that both the Times and the Journal
Times and Journal publish
excellent, rigorous journalism every day. Both papers employ plenty of
journalists with varied work and class backgrounds as well as
educations, and our democracy, on the whole, would be poorer without
them. And yet the more the staffs of the resemble those powerful
politicians and wealthy public figures that they cover, the greater the
risk they will become too credulous or incurious about them, whether
intentionally or unwittingly.
From my perspective this is
merely a ¨leftist¨ prejudgement,
but then I suppose I must be an
elitarian. Well... I am where intelligence
is concerned, and I am not
sorry in the least, for there simply are a few really
persons amongst a great majority of those who lack their gift.
Karl Marx! A Conversation With Immanuel Wallerstein
is by Marcello Musto on Truthout. Since this article did turn out a bit
different from how I expected it would, I need to say a few things
about my own background:
Both of my parents were real (and very courageous) communists
for 45 years, while my father´s father also was a communist, and my
mother´s parents were both anarchists.
I do not know anyone else
except my brother who is both
Dutch and who has a more leftist background than I
have. (They may exist, but I did not find them in 68 years.)
And this implies that I did have excellent chances of reading a
lot of Marx (and Engels and Lenin
and Stalin) in
my parents´ house,
which I also did from age 14 onwards, which again had the consequence
that I (who did not, as my parents
did, have to survive
Nazism, terror and resistance against the Nazis) gave up on Marx and on
when I was 20.
Specifically - and see Marx - I disagreed by the age of 20 with Marx
(and Engels) about his dialectical materialism
about his historical materialism (false: the human world is not
only determined by what happens in the economy); and about his economy
(quite clever but contradictory). I also found in the next 10 years
quite a few of - leftist - agreements with my position - and see Marxism - and I never reverted from my conclusions.
And now to the article, that opens as follows:
For three decades,
neoliberal policies and ideology have been almost uncontested
worldwide. Nevertheless, the 2008 economic crises, the profound
inequalities that exist in our society -- in particular between the
Global North and South -- and the dramatic environmental issues of our
time have urged several scholars, economic analysts and politicians to
reopen the debate on the future of capitalism and the need for an
alternative. It is in this context that today, almost everywhere around
the world, on the occasion of the bicentenary of Marx's birth, there is
a "Marx revival": a return to an author in the past wrongly associated
with Marxism- Leninism dogmatism and, then, hastily dismissed after the
fall of the Berlin Wall.
This is more or less
correct. I would have formulated it differently, but as I said: it is
mostly correct (and a first paragraph).
Here is more on Wallerstein:
currently a senior research scholar at Yale University, is among the
greatest living sociologists and one of the most appropriate scholars
to discuss the current relevance of Marx. He has been a reader of Marx
for a long time, and his work has been influenced by the theories of
the revolutionary born in Trier on May 5, 1818.
I suppose this is correct.
From now on I will only quote Wallerstein:
Wallerstein: There is an old story about Marx: you throw him
out the front door and he sneaks back in through the rear window. That
is what happened once again. Marx is relevant because we have to deal
with issues about which he still has a lot to say and because what he
said is different from what most other authors argued about capitalism.
This is quite correct.
Then there is this:
I believe that when
people think of Marx's interpretation of the world in one concept they
think of "class struggle." When I read Marx in light of the present
issues, for me class struggle means the necessary struggle of what I
call the Global Left -- who I believe endeavor to represent the bottom
80 percent of the world's population by income -- against the Global
Right -- which represents maybe 1 percent of the population. The
struggle is over the other 19 percent. It is about how to get them to
come onto your side, rather than the other.
I will also take this as -
at least - a valid interpretation of Marx. And there is this:
I would invite
greater reflection on the subject "private property and communism." In
the system established in the Soviet Union -- in particular under
Stalin -- the state owned the property but it did not mean that people
were not being exploited or oppressed. They were. Talking of socialism
in one country, as Stalin did, was also something that never entered
anybody's mind, including Marx, before that period. Public ownership of
the means of production is one possibility. They can also be
I agree again. And there
Marx's writings are
illuminating and much more subtle and variegated than some of the
simplistic interpretations of his ideas. It is always good to remember
the famous boutade in which Marx said: "If this is Marxism,
what is certain is that I am not a Marxist."
Again I agree. Here is the
last thing I quote from this article:
The first thing I
have to say to young people is that they have to read him. Do
not read about him, but read Marx. Few people -- in
comparison with the many who talks about him -- actually read Marx.
That is also true of Adam Smith.
And yes again. I think
that - supposing you are quite intelligent - you should
read Marx (to
some extent: to read all takes a lot of time), and you should also read
but you should not stop at them.
And it is my general sense of mostly agreeing that I had not expected
when I started reading this article, which also is recommended.
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 (!!).