in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from January 23, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
As I briefly explained yesterday, my old
modem stopped working last Friday, but I now have a new working modem.
Also, I started yesterday with an MLK quotation, and I decided to keep
it for some time, simply becaus King's idea is what I have been
thinking since over 50 years now.
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 January 23, 2019:
1. A N.Y. Times Story Just Accidentally
Shredded the Russiagate Hysteria
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. Just as MLK Warned, We're Headed
Toward Economic Apartheid
3. The Fall of Davos Man
4. Is Pence as Unfit for Office as Trump?
5. Want to Heal the Internet? Ban All Collection of User Data
N.Y. Times Story Just Accidentally Shredded the Russiagate Hysteria
This article is by
Camp on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Actually, the Senare
report was not "a bombshell", but then Lee Camp is a comedian
(whom I like). There is a considerable amount more, but this is one of
the problems of the supposed "bombshell":
Every once in a while, one
of those stories comes along that makes the mainstream corporate media
look like a bunch of middle-school kids filming their “news show” on an
iPhone with their neck ties crooked. Recently, one of those stories
splashed down into the middle of our cultural zeitgeist like a small
meteor landing in the middle of an elite dinner party.
It made our mass media
pundits look like hardened fools. But they have kept spouting their
nonsense anyway, hoping no one notices the soup dripping down their
But to talk about that, I
have to talk about this: Last month we finally got to see the Senate
report spelling out the Russian meddling in our last election. And it
was a bombshell.
Precisely - and of
course this is irony, and the irony consists in the facts that
(1) no one saw the Facebook ads, while (2) all kinds of
(neo-)conservatives insist that these Facebook ads were done by Russia
(without evidence), there were an enormous amount of them (without
evidence), and they impacted the last presidential elections (without
So now we’ve got former
Wall Street, former State Department, former Obama White House, former
NSA, former DARPA, and former JSOC writing this completely legitimate
completely factual report for the Senate about the powerful Russian
impact of Facebook ads that no one ever saw.
I love it. This is like a
report written by a hungry virus telling you not to wash your hands.
I agree with that, and here is some more on the supposed facts
of the supposed "bombshell":
Yes indeed - and this is
what is being done: Insisting without any evidence whatsoever
that Russian bots managed by Russians did all the very awful things
that no one saw and that no one really know about because only
Facebook's chiefs know Facebook's data.
Well, there’s one itsy
of Hamilton 68’s founders, Clint Watts, admitted that the
Twitter accounts it follows may actually be real people who are not
Russian at all.
Real people? Who aren’t
Russian? Call me crazy, but what I personally look for in a Russian bot
is something that is at least Russian. And if not that, then a bot. And
if neither, then you don’t have much of a goddamn Russian bot, do ya?
Claiming these are Russian bots is like saying, “I just met the Queen
of England, except she may have been a small Icelandic goat.”
This is from the ending of the article:
Yes, I basically agree and
this is a recommended article.
Sometimes the ability of
the legacy media to believe (or at least regurgitate) their own
bullshit is truly breathtaking.
To sum up this fuck de
1) The Senate report is
2) Any journalist who
quotes Hamilton 68 should have their face sewn to the carpet.
3) If you want ridiculous
pathetic reporting on nonsense that seduces us all to the edge of
nuclear annihilation, turn to your mainstream corporate media.
4) If you want someone to
actually put together the truth about these issues, you’ll have to turn
to alternative outlets like Truthdig or the Grayzone Project.
as MLK Warned, We're Headed Toward Economic Apartheid
This article is by
Jessicah Pierre on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
January 15th marked what
would’ve been Dr. Martin Luther King’s 90th birthday.
Most known for his famous
“I Have Dream Speech,” King envisioned a future in which deep racial
inequalities — including deep economic inequality — were eradicated. He
worked tirelessly towards that mission.
Over 50 years after his
assassination, sensational media stories have focused heavily on the
black unemployment rate, which has reached historic
report by the Institute for Policy Studies takes a more
holistic look at where the country is in terms of racial economic
parity. It reveals deep, pervasive, and ongoing racial economic
The study shows that wealth
is concentrating into fewer and fewer hands over time. And though
working white people also struggle, the hands at the very top are
overwhelmingly white. Far from closing, America’s polarizing racial
wealth divide is continuing to grow between white households and
households of color.
Over the past three
decades, the report notes, “the median black family saw their wealth
drop by a whopping 50 percent, compared to a 33 percent
increase for the median white household.”
King foreshadowed that if
we maintain our exploitative economic and political systems, then we’d
get not only racial apartheid, but economic apartheid as well.
I say, which I do
because I did not know that the median black family's
has dropped by 50% in the last 30 years. And in the same time
median white family's wealth increased by 33%. (All according to
report mentioned in the quotation.)
And Pierre is quite
right that one should not only investigate racial apartheid by
apartheid as well.
Here is one other bit
from this article:
The widening of the racial
wealth divide has coincided with the extreme concentration of U.S.
wealth. We’re currently living in an economy where the Forbes
400 own more wealth than all black households, plus a quarter
of Latino households, combined.
As much as we cite the
vision that MLK laid out for America, decades later we’ve not moved in
the right direction.
This dynamic is the result
of public policies that favor the wealthy, not the “invisible hand” of
Yes indeed, and this is
a recommended article.
3. The Fall of Davos Man
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed - and this is,
apart from a nuclear war, about the sickest and most degenerate
fact I know about the present world: That 26
as much wealth as more than 50% of all persons, that is (bolding
added) "3.8 billion persons who comprise the bottom half of the planet’s
The annual confab of the
captains of global industry, finance, and wealth is underway in Davos,
Switzerland at the World Economic Forum.
Meanwhile, Oxfam reports
that the wealth of the 2,200 billionaires across the globe increased by
$900 billion last year – or $2.5 billion a day. Their 12 percent
increase in wealth contrasts with a drop of 11 percent in the wealth of
the bottom half of the people of the world. In fact, the
world’s 26 richest billionaires now own as much as the 3.8 billion who
comprise the bottom half of the planet’s population.
And while it is possible that some of my readers really admire
these 26 billionaires, I take it because they think they may (or ought
to) be one of them - and in that case I think you are sick
excessive greed and egoism)
In any case: In a democracy, the laws that are ruling most of the
behaviors of most men are supported by most in the democracy, and that
applies to all laws, including those on wealth and riches.
My own "solution" to the sick
difference between the very few extremely
rich and the very many extremely poor is to legally bind wealth
a way that no one can earn more than 20 times as much as the poorest,
and no one also can owe more wealth than 20 times as much as the
And I wrote "solution"
quotes, because while I think this would be a real solution
if the laws
were adjusted in that way, I do not know whether the excessive
the excessive egoism, the extremely many lies that the few rich engage
in (or have their menials engage in), and the extreme amounts of wealth
the rich may use to propagandize and influence the many, may not make
this real solution impossible (perhaps until virtually the whole
economy has collapsed).
Also, the solution is known as "(democratic) socialism" (which is not
at all the same as "social democracy") and was favored by men like
Orwell and Albert
Einstein, and it is described to some extent
and defended in my Crisis: On Socialism
that is strongly recommended - though indeed it may be
practice because of the greed, the egoism, the ignorance and the lack
of intelligence that mark the many as well as the few.
Back to Reich's article:
Yes, I totally agree with
(except that Reich wrote a book called "Saving Capitalism") and
a recommended article.
The real source of the rise
of repressive authoritarianism, nativism, and xenophobia in the United
States as well as Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Denmark,
Bulgaria, Greece, France, and Britain is a pervasive sense that elites
are rigging the world economy for themselves. And, guess what? They
Message to Davos Man (and
Women): Either commit to pushing for broader prosperity and democracy,
or watch as trade wars, capital controls, and isolationism erode global
prosperity (including yours) and global peace.
Pence as Unfit for Office as Trump?
is by Mike Lofgren
on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
In the last two years,
press has spilled a Niagara of ink to describe President Donald Trump’s
lies, flipflops, personal weirdness, and sheer unsuitability for
office. As for Vice President Michael Richard Pence, despite his
hectoring insistence on being the chosen instrument of the Almighty,
many observers have resignedly noted that at least he has had the
relevant experience in state and federal government his boss lacks, and
remains (if barely) within the spectrum of behaviors of the typical
But his January 16 speech announcing ISIS’s defeat should dispel any
notion that Pence has the competence and good judgment necessary to
govern. With his characteristic combination of smugness and robotic
stiffness, he declared,
“We are bringing our troops home. The caliphate has crumbled, and ISIS
has been defeated."
One need not even engage in
the argument over whether U.S. forces must withdraw from Syria or
not—one could line up arguments on either side of the case—to recognize
the fallacy of the vice president’s pronouncement. Conventional
military force can seize territory from a group like ISIS and kill its
adherents, but it cannot kill an ideology. Nor can military means alone
“defeat” terrorism, which is a method, rather than a discrete and
countable armed contingent with an order of battle. At best, military
force can contain terrorism—but with the significant risk of
stimulating local disaffection and terrorist recruitment.
Well... I like Mike Lofgren,
but with regard to madness, personalities, characters,
values and ideas
I have two advantages that he lacks: I have - excellent - academic
degrees in philosophy and psychology, and also it was (and is)
especially my knowledge of psychology that makes me oppose Trump as
much as I do, for I think (since almost three years now) that Trump is insane.
The last link is to an
article I wrote in the end of 2016, but it consists mostly of the
definition of narcissistic
personality disorder (by psychiatrists) that
I used to found my own conclusions about Trump plus some quite
interesting comments and explanations by psychologists and
Next, while Lofgren is
correct about Pence, he also lacks my M.A. in psychology, which tells
me that while I have very good evidence that Trump is insane, I
lack that evidence for Pence and indeed, while I think
his morals may be nearly as bad as those of Trump, I also think it
is unlikely that Pence is mad (among
other things because I insist
madness is a fairly rare event).
I have one more bit by
In fact, I started today's
Nederlog with a much better quote from Martin Luther King. And
agree with Lofgren on "Pence’s
deeply troubling dogmatism and sycophancy" and also on his factual incompetence for the
think I would feel a little more safe with Pence than with Trump about
the next nuclear war. But this is a recommended article.
Nor were the Syria comments
a fluke. The weekend after that incident, the day before the Martin
Luther King, Jr., holiday, Pence attempted
to justify Trump’s border-wall obsession by repeating what he
alleged was one of his favorite quotes from King: “Now is the time to
make real the promises of democracy.”
While Republicans typically
reveal a premeditated cynicism and effrontery whenever they invoke King
(“If Martin Luther King were alive today, he’d be a Republican” is
a common trope), it is possible that Pence’s characteristic
sanctimonious guilelessness actually led him to believe that echoing a
martyred exponent of nonviolence would vindicate throwing hundreds of
thousands of people out of work to extort Congress’s capitulation to
While he has been heavily
overshadowed by the wall-to-wall coverage of his boss’s antics, there
has always been plenty of available
evidence of Mike Pence’s deeply troubling dogmatism and sycophancy.
His remarks on Syria are further indication of his indifference
to facts, his intellectual incuriosity, and his incompetence—qualities
that make him unqualified for his present job, let alone the only
to Heal the Internet? Ban All Collection of User Data
is by Charles Hugh Smith on Washington's Blog. This is from near its
I like Washington's Blog,
but the above shows why I normally do not treat the articles of
appearing there, namely because he starts each paragraph with a bolded
If you’ve followed any of my analyses,
it will come as no surprise that I’ve concluded the only way to restore
the health of the Internet is to ban all collection of user data. That’s
right, a 100% total ban on collecting any user data whatsoever.
We need to distinguish between
customer/supplier data and user data. If a social media or
other corporation wants to collect data from people who pay it money
for services rendered, or from suppliers that it pays for services,
then that process of data collection should be 100% transparent.
A customer pays for a service in cash;
a user pays nothing. A company might want to collect data from
its paying customers in order to upsell them or serve them better, and
corporations who produce goods and services might want to collect data
from the suppliers they pay.
Banning the collection of any data
from users would of course destroy much of the revenues of companies
such as Facebook, Google , Twitter, Instagram et al. It would
also destroy the perverse incentives these corporations have
institutionalized and excused as “garsh, you can’t stop the advance of
technology,” as if their pursuit of Surveillance Capitalism were
somehow an inevitable outcome of the Internet rather than a malign
disease that’s undermining democracy and the free flow of diverse
opinions and dissent that is the foundation of functional democracy.
Now you may well think that is unimportant, and you may also
that I use quite a lot of boldings in my Nederlogs (of which this
article forms a part).
And you are right - but you do not have my eyes, that collapsed
summer of 2012, and that still are not normal and quite sensitive. This
in turn increased my sensitivity to italics (which I never liked) that
also explains why I use boldings to stress the terms I think that are
important, much rather than italics.
But I disagree with boldings as Smith uses, which are apparently there
for no other reason than to mark the beginnings of paragraphs.
Anyway... this time I made an exception, and the reason is that I completely
agree with Smith: All collections of user data should be stopped
and as long as they go on, I also think that the internet has been
expressly designed to steal as much user data as possible, and to
introduce a new kind of capitalism.
That new kind of - totalitarian,
authoritarian and repressive -
capitalism may be called neofascism or
it may be called surveillance capitalism,
and I also think that, as long as the present kind of internet
persists, it is the gravest danger for
anybody who is not very rich,
not totalitarian, not authoritarian, and not
You may learn more about surveillance capitalism by pressing the last link.
Here is the last bit that I quote from Smith:
Yes, I fundamentally agree
and this is a strongly recommended article (with quite a few
If you think this is unrealistic, look
at craigslist. Craigslist is free to individual users, and it
doesn’t collect and sell user data to make billions of dollars. It
sells adverts to businesses such as auto dealers and companies placing
employment ads. These income streams are more than enough to fund the
operational expenses and reap the owners a substantial profit.
Surveillance Capitalism is
all about creating the illusion of privacy controls. The
social media/search giants have mastered the dark arts of obfuscating
how they’re reaping billions of dollars in profits from monetizing user
data, and lobbying technologically naive politicos to leave their vast
skimming operations untouched.
Keep it simple: ban all collection of
user data–no exceptions. That will be easy to enforce and easy
for all participants to understand.
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 (!!).