from December 20, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from December 20, 2018:
1. It Is So Much Worse Than I Thought
The 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:
2. Facebook Rebuked for Failing to
Disclose Data-Sharing Deals
3. “Alexa, Drop a Bomb”: Amazon Wants in on US Warfare
4. Facebook Bombshell Reignites Calls for Zuckerberg's
5. Watch Your Wallets
Is So Much Worse Than I Thought
This article is by
Charles M. Blow on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
Well... I will suppose
this is honest. But my own assessments differ from
Blow´s, and an important reason is that I am a psychologist
(among other things). Also, another important reason is that I am not
American but Dutch (and the Dutch political system, although it is far
from perfect, is rather different from the American political system,
and a lot better).
will be going on book leave soon — today is my last column for a while
because of the holiday schedule — to write what I believe to be the
most important thing that I’ve ever written.
it’s not about Donald Trump, just in case you were wondering.
since I have written almost exclusively about Trump for more than two
years, please allow me this parting assessment: It is so much worse
than I thought.
original objections to Trump, the things that pushed me into the
Resistance, were his immorality, dishonesty, fraudulence and grift.
freely admit now that I was seeing only the pointy edge of an enormous
machine. I had no idea how immoral Trump actually is.
Here are some of my own assessments of Trump and his government:
First, I think I know since the beginning of 2016 that Trump is insane. In fact, I
did know Trump existed in 2015 (or perhaps earlier) but
I never had paid any attention to him. When I did, because of
the presidential elections, I was rapidly pointed to opinions by
psychologists and psychiatrists that insisted he is insane, to
which I had to agree after seeing videos of Trump´s baloney and
reading some more about him. In case you are interested, my first
report is here, on March 14, 2016.
Ever since then, I have only seen confirmations of that first
conclusion about Trump that I drew. (As an aside: I did not
drew any such conclusion about the other members of Trump´s govern-
ment, because I do not know them and there are not enough videos about
Second, I disliked ¨the Resistance¨ nearly as soon as I had
heard about it, for the simple reason that I do not believe in a
resistance that is supposedly conducted by leading lights from TV who
earn many millions each year. Besides, I also disagreed
with the diagnosis of ¨the Resistance¨, because this seemed to me to be
a copy of Hillary Clinton´s baloney.
And finally, I think I did realize ¨how immoral Trump actually is¨, indeed in good part because he is insane.
Anyway. Here is some more:
The fact that Trump
would be directly implicated in a federal crime that took place on the
verge of the election and may have helped hand that election to him is
mind-blowing to me.
Yes indeed: I mostly
agree. Here is some more:
Trump, for his part, lied
about these payments and denied them — while also having those around
him lie about them on his behalf — until he could simply no longer lie
about them anymore. Then came the roulette wheel of revolving
explanations that makes one dizzy because of their silliness.
Just this week, the Trump
Foundation agreed to dissolve under pressure from the New York attorney
general, who found that the foundation functioned “as little more than
a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests” and
engaged in “a shocking pattern of illegality,” including coordinating
with Trump’s presidential campaign.
How can a family that can’t
run a charity run a country?
I was quite
prepared for Trump´s lies and deceptions, indeed again because I am a
every aspect of Trump’s life is now under investigation for wrongdoing,
something I could not have foreseen.
could not have predicted the extraordinary lengths to which the
president would go to obstruct justice and undermine the rule of law,
nor that he would do these things in full view, for everyone to see.
could not have predicted, when I first wrote that Trump was a
pathological liar, that his rate of lying would increase with his time
in office, rather than decrease. As The Washington Post
Fact Checker put it in September:
tsunami of untruths helped push the count in The Fact Checker’s
database past 5,000 on the 601st day of his presidency. That’s an
average of 8.3 Trumpian claims a day, but in the past nine days — since
our last update — the president has averaged 32 claims a day. When we
first started this project for the president’s
first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. He passed the 2,000
mark on Jan. 10 — eight months ago.”
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes, and this is a
is huge, and the longer we pretend that it isn’t, the more damage we do
to the health and stability of our own country.
I am away, I will enjoy not having to follow the hourly insanities too
closely, but every day I will worry about the republic in which we
live. Trump has the capacity to damage or even destroy it. That’s not
hyperbole. That’s an observation informed by a close reading of history.
Rebuked for Failing to Disclose Data-Sharing Deals
This article is by
Michael LaForgia, Nicholas Confessore and Gabriel Dance on The New York
Times. It starts as follows and is in fact the second part of
two parts, of which I reviewed the first
Yes, I mostly agree, but
with a major difference: It is my strongly considered opinion
and some of the other largest technology firms in the world faced sharp
criticism on Wednesday for failing to disclose the extent of its
data-sharing deals, many of which went back to the social network’s
of the deals, revealed in a New York Times report on Tuesday, set in
motion a fresh round of rebukes from legislators who had singled out
Facebook’s sharing practices in the recent past. And they came at a
moment when the Trump administration, Congress and even some Silicon
Valley executives are calling for stricter privacy laws that would
govern Facebook and other businesses that trade in huge amounts of
in the United States and Britain on Wednesday called for greater
oversight of Facebook, the world’s dominant social media platform. But
critics also focused on statements that Facebook’s chief executive,
Mark Zuckerberg, had made in recent months while defending the company.
Roy Blunt, the Missouri Republican, said the revelations made him
question Mr. Zuckerberg’s decision making. “I know he’s smart, but
sometimes I think he’s got no sense,” Mr. Blunt told Fox News, adding
that the disclosures were cause to consider stricter privacy laws.
“Congress is going to have to regulate them and stop this, and I hate
to do it, but by God I will if they can’t clean up their act.”
Here is more:
- I think that neither
Facebook nor Google nor any other corporation has any right whatsoever
on owning or reading anyone´s private data, and in fact the
same holds (in my opinion) for any security organization, while
- the billionaires
who own Netflix, Spotify, Microsoft,
Amazon and Yahoo are given all the personal information - about
their friends - but each and all refuse
to tell honestly to the
non-rich how their private information is
abused, who abuses or has it,
and what it is used for.
Yes indeed: Zuckerberg
lied and lied against Congress, where he should have spoken the truth.
of the deals on Wednesday further roiled the technology industry as
policymakers and privacy advocates directed anger at Facebook’s leaders
and its partners.
Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat, attacked Mr. Zuckerberg for not
disclosing the full scope of the agreements during a Senate hearing in
the spring, when Mr. Zuckerberg assured officials that users had
complete control of their data.
Zuckerberg had a lot of chutzpah telling Congress that Americans could
control their data, when seemingly every other week Facebook faces a
new privacy scandal for abusing our personal information,” Mr. Wyden
Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Democrat, called for the F.T.C. to
police the company more aggressively. “Facebook’s seemingly
unrestrained sharing of user data is the privacy equivalent of the BP
oil spill,” Mr. Blumenthal wrote on Twitter. “Ongoing, uncontained
& toxic. We will be paying the price for decades.”
And once again:
in principle, for that
is the cookbook recipe for a takeover of power by the very
few, and the institution of a new type
of society that I - already in 2012: See here - described as the
combination of corporate fascism
(later called neofascism
by me, that I also properly defined) and surveillance
by the national securities and the big and rich corporations.
- I think the harm
done by not catching a few terrorists
because we do not have each and every
private e-mail read by AI is very much
less than the harm that can be done by each and
everyone of the national securities that meanwhile know everything about everyone
(with some internet-computer)
Here is more, again illustrating Facebook´s enormous
Precisely - and as I said
earlier, I am attending to Facebook
since 2011, but the only honest statement that I have ever read by Mark Zuckerberg in the
seven years that since passed is that he regards his users as ¨dumb
fucks who trust me¨: That is completely
has sought to contain the damage in part by winding down many of its
data-sharing partnerships. Facebook said on Wednesday that it had
brought more than 60 of its agreements to a close.
deals with two giants of the technology world — Amazon and Apple —
remain in place. Facebook officials said the deals must continue
because of contracts the social network signed with the companies.
obtained by The Times showed that the social network granted Apple
devices broad access to people’s personal data, even when users had
disabled sharing. Facebook gave Amazon access users’ email addresses
without permission, among other things, the records revealed.
Here is more on how Zuckerberg makes billions by sharing everyone´s
private data, that he nor anyone else should have any
right to, with each and every corporation that paid him enough:
Facebook also had a deal to
share the data of users’ friends with Microsoft, and agreements that
gave Spotify and Netflix full access to users’ private messages. Users
were especially incensed at the Spotify and Netflix deals, which
appeared to go far beyond what the companies required for their
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
story exposes the myth of control,” Kate Crawford, a founder of the
A.I. Now Institute at New York University, wrote in a tweet referring
to Facebook’s partnerships with Spotify, Netflix and other companies.
total lack of respect for user wishes is the infinitely repeating
scandal of 2018,” she added.
Well... yes and no, but mostly no, for Crawford
completely seems to miss that
- Facebook etc. do
control and deceive and trick their users, to whom they
also are constantly lying
(though I grant the above quotation is far from clear), while
- she seems to miss
that I am not interested in ¨respect of user wishes¨ if - as is
the case- at most 1% of these users know how to program or know the
relevant laws, for it is extremely easy to trick and
deceive the ignorant,
- she seems to miss
completely the fact that the national security services also know
everything (and possibly more) than any of Facebook,
Google, Amazone, Spotify, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft (and more) know,
at the highest levels of their owners.
But I grant Ms Crawford may have been
misquoted, although I insist that the three points I made are true.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
Drop a Bomb”: Amazon Wants in on US Warfare
is by Nick Mottern on Truthout. It starts as follows:
Yes - I either agree or
know most of this. Also, this is very frightening. Here is more:
Amazon is seeking to build
a global “brain” for the Pentagon called JEDI, a weapon of
unprecedented surveillance and killing power, a profoundly aggressive
weapon that should not be allowed to be created.
Founded in 1994 as an
online book seller, Amazon is now the world’s largest online retailer,
than 300 million customers worldwide, and net sales of $178
billion in 2017.
Amazon has built a vast,
globally distributed data storage capacity and sophisticated artificial
intelligence programs to propel its retail business that it hopes to
use to win a $10 billion Pentagon contract to create the aforementioned
“brain” that goes by the project name Joint Enterprise Defense
Infrastructure, a moniker obviously concocted to yield the Star
Wars acronym — JEDI.
As of the October 12, 2018,
deadline for submitting proposals for JEDI, Amazon is the betting
favorite for the contract, which will
go to just one bidder, in spite of protests by competitors,
chief among them Microsoft and IBM.
JEDI is intended to not
improve information sharing, but to dramatically increase the US
military’s ability to collect and sort through huge amounts of
surveillance information from many, many sources on individuals and
groups – governmental and non-governmental – around the world. This
will be part of a process of using artificial intelligence and
algorithms to identify probable targets for killing.
This means that as soon
as JEDI is working any individual anywhere may be killed by the
Americans, probably by some drone. Also, all the information
JEDI uses - ¨surveillance
information from many, many sources on individuals and groups¨ - seems completely illegal to me,
who insists and will insist that private mails and private
information should have been kept secret, and that the private mails and private
information are shared now (by virtually all secret services and all
major corporations) because that was one
of the points of the internet-as-designed by DARPA and Brzezinski:
and Control: Brezezinski 1968
Here is more:
JEDI will do what is being
done now on a less coordinated scale and with a smaller volume of
surveillance data, but JEDI, The
Guardian reported recently, “promises to find those enemies
faster – even if all it takes to be considered an enemy is exhibiting a
pattern of behavior that a (classified) machine-learning model
associates with hostile activity. Call it death by big data.”
In addition, JEDI will very
likely to be at the heart of managing
the first generation of operational US robotic
land, sea, air and space weaponry.
Decisions on who and
when to kill based on human and JEDI’s massive, fallible artificial
intelligence will almost certainly be significantly guided by the
concept of pre-emptive killing — that is, assassination or larger
attack based on suspected threat.
Well... you can call it ¨death
by big data¨, but these big data have been gathered illegally,
for no one´s mails and other private information should ever have
become shared information, that is, information accessed and shared by
the secret services from almost every country, and by most of the
largest corporations there are: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google,
Here is more:
Precisely: The private
data that have been harvested illegally by all or
almost all the secret services, and by Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google,
Facebook etc. now will be used intimidate, control or
kill you (if you have opinions that some secret service
It appears very possible
that if Amazon gets the Pentagon contract, the personal profiles of its
customers around the world, developed to stimulate retail sales, will
become, either individually or as aggregated, instruments of these
customers’ intimidation and control. In a real way, the acquisitive
impulses of hundreds of millions of people may well become the stuff of
their imprisonment and, in some cases, their deaths.
Further, JEDI as a global
presence represents the creation of a weapon that dramatically ups the
level of global military rivalry and ensures more global human
conflict. JEDI demonstrates a new level of US determination for global
domination that can only be described as disastrous.
Indeed: ¨the acquisitive
impulses of hundreds of millions of people may well become the stuff of
their imprisonment and, in some cases, their deaths¨.
I also agree with the rest. Here is more:
Yes, I think this is also
all correct - and as to privacy: It
simply has been erased in fact and in practice, but almost no one seems
to care or to know.
JEDI would obviously
“benefit” from having access to the millions of personal profiles
developed by Amazon and other major cloud operators and any other
personal information it can capture. Significantly in this regard,
there is nothing in the JEDI RFP that specifically addresses the issue
of privacy, an obvious human right, specifically defined as such in the
UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
As noted earlier, the
long-standing Israeli state practice
of preemptive assassination that informs the US drone war program will
almost certainly be applied to all JEDI findings of potential threat,
regardless of the gross human tragedies caused by US
Here is more, this time about the
privatization of war, murder, and repression:
I agree. Here is the last
bit that I quote from this article:
The transfer of a massive
amount of military information into a privately owned and built cloud,
as will happen with the creation of JEDI, raises the possibility that
the owner or owners of that cloud will — because of their knowledge of
the cloud structure, capabilities and content — become more powerful
than military and elected officials. Such a transfer has never happened
before, and the RFP for JEDI does not speak to the question of how JEDI
will remain in governmental control.
The degree to which the
JEDI cloud provider may be willing to assert control over US politics
and military decisions in the absence of specific controls may depend
solely on that provider’s ambitions.
Precisely, except for the phrase
¨an increased day-to-day threat
level for millions of people¨: I
think that should have been an increased day-to-day threat level for billions of people, namely everyone who is
alive. This is a very strongly recommended article (and - once
again - I am glad I have no family and no children, and was born in
1950 and not later).
As it gathers more and more
information, JEDI will bring a major up-tick in ongoing systematic
global killing through assassination by drones, special operations
teams and, soon, robots. JEDI will mean an increased day-to-day threat
level for millions of people, particularly in the world’s poorest
JEDI will further
concentrate power in the hands of fewer people, controllers of
technology who already have too much economic and political power.
Giving these individuals control over such a powerful weapon, and
making that weapon so completely dependent on technology that these
individuals control it virtually ensures there will be no antitrust
action to break up those companies to reduce their monopolistic power.
And further, nothing will
likely be done by Congress or regulators to protect the public’s
privacy from these companies because of damage that might mean to
Bombshell Reignites Calls for Zuckerberg's Resignation
is by Jake Johnson on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams. It
starts as follows:
Yes, I completely agree,
and I also think Zuckerberg should be in jail. Also, the report
that Johnson mentions is reviewed (part two) above,
while part one was reviewed yesterday
Just hours after civil
rights groups called
on Facebook’s top executives to step down from the company’s
board for allowing “viral propaganda” and “bigoted campaigns” to spread
on the platform, demands for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to resign intensified
after a bombshell New
York Times report late
Tuesday detailed a “special arrangement” the social media behemoth had
with tech corporations that gave them access to users’ data and private
messages without consent.
“An incredibly damning
indictment of Facebook, every single paragraph,” Trevor Timm, executive
director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, wrote of
the Times report, which is the latest in a long
line of recent
revelations about Facebook’s intrusive—and possibly
Here is more from the article:
Yes, but as I said: The
CEO of an evil corporation is himself evil, especially if his name is
Zuckerberg, and he ought to be in jail (rather than take a
holiday the rest of his life on his over 100 billions of dollars, that
were all gathered by lies and deceptions).
Citing hundreds of pages of
internal company records and interviews with dozens of former
employees, the Times reported that “Facebook allowed
Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all
Facebook users’ friends without consent” and “gave Netflix and Spotify
the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.”
Additionally, the Times found,
Facebook “permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact
information through their friends, and it let Yahoo view streams of
friends’ posts as recently as this summer, despite public statements
that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier.”
“Facebook is a public trust
that has broken our trust,” wrote author
and NBC political analyst Anand Giridharadas in
response to the Times report. “Mark Zuckerberg must
The New Republic‘s
Jeet Heer added,
“Facebook is evil, folks.”
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes, but its business
model should be judged by specialists, and not by
common users who do not even know how to program. Anyway... this is a
Roger McNamee, an early
investor in Facebook, wholeheartedly agreed, declaring, “I don’t
believe it is legitimate to enter into data-sharing partnerships where
there is not prior informed consent from the user.”
“No one should trust
Facebook until they change their business model,” McNamee concluded.
5. Watch Your Wallets
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed: I totally
agree - and I also want to make two points:
The problem with the Fed
hiking rates now is that Trump has already stressed the paychecks of
most Americans. The rate hike will make matters worse.
Most Americans are still
living in the shadow of the Great Recession that started in December
2007 and officially ended in June 2009. More Americans have jobs, but
their pay has barely risen when adjusted for inflation.
Many are worse off due to
the escalating costs of housing, healthcare, and education. And the
value of whatever assets they own is less than in 2007.
Trump has added to their
burden by undermining the Affordable Care Act, rolling back overtime
pay, hobbling labor organizing, reducing taxes on corporations and the
wealthy but not on most workers, allowing states to cut Medicaid, and
imposing tariffs that increase the prices of many goods.
All of which suggests we’re
careening toward the same sort of crash we had in 2008, and possibly as
bad as 1929.
Back to the article:
- I am the only one
I know who has insisted for the past ten years that the crisis of 2008 continued for
everybody who did not belong the richest 5% or so, but - as
Reich says - that is the truth, and
- while I was against
a major economical crash before, mostly because of the suffering this
entails, I am now for a major crash, and my reason is mostly the internet, which was set up expressly to steal
the privacies of each and every of its users - see here: Crisis: Propaganda
and Control: Brezezinski 1968 - and that totally
succeeded in doing so: I think that the situation is so extremely dangerous that I prefer a crisis
that is big enough to tame the existing internet that otherwise
will create a kind of neofascism I
detest and very much fear.
Clear away the financial
rubble from those two former crashes and you’d see they both followed
upon widening imbalances between the capacity of most people to buy,
and what they as workers could produce.
Each of these imbalances
finally tipped the economy over.
The same imbalance has been
growing again. The richest 1 percent of Americans now takes home about
20 percent of total income, and owns over 40 percent of the nation’s
wealth. These are close to the peaks of 1928 and 2007.
The underlying problem
isn’t that Americans have been living beyond their means. It’s that
their means haven’t been keeping up with the growing economy. Most
gains have gone to the top.
But the rich only spend a
small fraction of what they earn. The economy depends on the spending
of middle and working class families.
By the first quarter of
year, household debt was at a record high of $13.2 trillion. Almost 80
percent of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.
Yes, I think this is
also all true. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I agree and this is a strongly
After the 1929 crash, the
government invented new ways to boost the wages of most Americans –
Social Security, unemployment insurance, overtime pay, a minimum wage,
the requirement that employers bargain with labor unions, and, finally,
a full-employment program called World War II.
By contrast, after the 2007
crash the government bailed out the banks and pumped enough money into
the economy to contain the slide. But apart from the Affordable Care
Act, nothing was done to address the underlying problem of stagnant
Without wage growth, most
American workers can’t continue to buy. They’re in the same sort of
debt trap that preceded the 2008 and 1929 crashes.
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 (!!).