Monthly Archives: January 2017

A strange déjà-vu

We had it all sixteen years ago. When George W. Bush became president, the world stood against him. But then came 9/11 and suddenly the village idiot received unrestricted solidarity[1]. Now Trump stands against almost the whole world and if he can’t deliver to those angry whites that voted for him, he will be in splendid isolation.

Are we heading therefore for a new 9/11?

Donald Trump might need a new 9/11 when the deceit of his campaign promises becomes evident. If you can’t keep your promises, get an outer cause, an enemy to blame for as “in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being”[2] the masses will agree to military spending (“the pursuit of power”) and will accept their economic situation (“economic self-denial”). After a few months of failed policies and world wide contempt, what could Trump welcome more than an “America under attack”-scenario?

For now the angry whites are kept at bay with tough anti-immigrant policies like building the wall against Mexico or banning Muslims entering the country. Decrees like these create the impression that he does what he promised and pacify the voters—but only for a limited amount of time. When no new jobs spring into life, when the salaries don’t rise, when the infrastructure remains at the bottom, the angry whites will have to be deluded in other ways. As Trump almost for sure won’t be able to create jobs and economic growth for all as his cabinet is made of generals and multi-billionaires (the latter representing the establishment he claims to fight), the question is not if but when it will happen.

A war can distract the angry whites and give them a new object of anger. A war brings excuse and emotions: they take away our progress”, “they prevent America to become great again”. The new enemy will explain the failures of the current presidency and direct the anger to a new target. And all those who do not agree and dare to voice dissident opinion will be decried as unpatriotic.

I met one single Trump voter. He was full of anger and his arguments were all one liners. From “lock her up” to “bomb them down” it is a small step.

But a new 9/11 will also silence other governments and downgrade topics like climate change, the divide between rich and poor, racial inequality and other looming environmental catastrophes to name just a few. In the absence of a “truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat”[3] the public—including non-US governments— will remind the current administration endlessly about the real problems of this world. A war therefore will not just calm the angry whites but also the heads of non-US states.

If 9/11 was an inside job, there are high times for a second 9/11 [4] as war might be the one thing that can change Trump’s standing in the world and hide his inexorable coming failures.

The bulletin of Atomic Scientists have moved the doomsday clock closer to midnight. It stands now at two and a half minutes to midnight.[5]


1 German then-chancellor Gerhard Schröder just after the attacks.

2 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, p. 37

3The Grand Chessboard, p. 211

4 To be correct, it would be the 4[th] 9/11. The first 9/11 happened 300 years ago in Catalan, the second in Chile 1973, the third is the commonly known 9/11/



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The daily Trump resistance

Amerikanische Botschaft
Sulgeneckstrasse 19
3005 Bern

January 26, 2017

Subject: North Dakota pipeline and Keystone XL pipeline
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
Your president’s recent decision—apart from ignoring democratic opinion and minority rights—sets the course for the destruction of the planet in general and the the human species in particular. Threatening to destroy the biosphere and the life and future prospect of billions of people is nothing less than the biggest terrorist declaration in human history.

Sincerely yours
Thierry Blanc

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The daily Trump resistance

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The daily Trump resistance

ZCommunications » The issue is not Trump. It is us.

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‘Post fact’ and ‘fake news’ era

Media tell us that we have reached the post fact era. But to me it seems more that we have just reached a new level within an era that has started a long time ago. The Greeks complained already 500 BC that the good speaker can undermine democracy. Propaganda and so-called framing have aggravated this problem exponentially. Facts are distorted and reality is framed with the aim of manufacturing consent of the population. The one-sided reporting about Crimea or Syria are just the recent examples.

We had the misfortune of actually trying to talk about the problems facing America and providing real solutions,” Sanders said in an interview with DemocracyNow[1]. With the new president-elect, media manipulation might just add a new modus operandi: Do not speak about the real problems. Let the masses care about the private lives of famous actors, football players and other celebrities, entertain them with sports events, soap operas and the latest Hollywood productions but do not let them come in contact with real political questions. Politics in the ‘post fact’ era is reduced to the vulgar utterances and the public’s reaction to them.

As we have seen during the election campaign, Trump’s nonsense lacking most political substance was given fare more media coverage than Bernie Sanders’s statements of the factual policy.[2] Trump received between $1 and $3 billion of free air time. In comparison, Trump got between 16 to 320 times more air time than Sanders[3]. Addressing real problems earns you the boycott of the establishment, especially the media.

It might be a systemic problem, intrinsic to capitalism itself. As CBS chief executive Les Moonves said at a conference in San Francisco the Trump spectacle “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS” as “CNN will make approximately $100 million in television and digital advertising revenues more than it would expect in the typical election year,”.[4]

But it might as well be a desired development for the establishment. In a world where the gap between rich an poor is vaster than 1929 and two main disasters – atomic holocaust and climate change – are looming at the horizon, the world economy needs a drastic correction moving away from fossil fuel and war-profiteering.

Capitalist economic surplus is extremely unevenly distributed. The 0.1%, the establishment, do not want the masses partake in this surplus and therefore do not want a change. Their attention diverted to exaggerated threats like global terrorism[5] the masses are made to consent. Consent to give up basic rights and consent to be relegated of decision making by the rulers. Meanwhile the masses fear terror and are outraged by disgusting tweets, the 0.1% go on cashing in the profits and ignoring the world’s looming catastrophes.

News and infotainment that keep discussing the emperor’s clothes are nothing new. But with the absence of even addressing the real problems, the manufacturing of consent has reached a new extreme.


1How the Media Iced Out Bernie Sanders & Helped Donald Trump Win,

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.


5 Compared to the danger of nuclear war or global warming, the terror victims in Europe much less than those of car accidents or even being crushed by a unstable television! (cf.


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Daily Trump resistance

Tell Amazon to stop advertisement on Breitbart News.

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EULA commons BY-NC version 3.0

We all know the feeling: if we want to continue the installation, the registration, or whatever, we have to click “yes, I agree” but the last thing we want to do is to read plenty of pages of legalese and check them for loopholes. So we just click ‘yes’, agreeing to the End User Licence Agreement (EULA) even when we might consent to sell our grandmother …

It could be different. Creative commons licence is a one of several public copyright licenses which comes in different flavours. A work can be copyrighted – or to be more accurate copylefted! – under creative commons. There are seven regularly used types of creative commons licenses[1].

With this standardisation of copyleft, it is very easy for an end user to know immediately what he can do and what not with the work.

The same could be applied for the EULA. Let’s say seven different forms of EULA for registering on a website and twelve for installing an app. The end user would immediately see if there are any costs involved, if data is sold to a third party, etc.

If the EULA is not one of the seven EULA commons, the thing is fishy and one has to do some web search before installing the app or registering on the site.

But if the EULA is a EULA commons, the decision will be a true and quick decision.

EULA commons would be a very helpful thing.

Yes, I agree.

1 E.g. a work might be licensed under creative commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives version 3.0, in short CC BY-NC-ND. For details, see

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For an open standard of social media

Email is a standard. It is called SMTP, simple mail transfer protocol. All mail clients, i.e. programs that handles the mails, understand it, independent of operating system or client used. Apple mail can communicate with eudora, thunderbird with outlook, etc. – no conversion needed.

Every end user can choose the client he or she wants, be it a browser-based client like gmail or an stand-alone client like those mentioned above.

Not so with social networks. You have to use the same website, have an account and be logged in to communicate with your social media friends. If you use google+ and your friend is using facebook, you can’t communicate.

Social Media Exchange Protocol

What if there were a standard, a protocol for social media interactions? A standard, let’s call it Social Media Exchange Protocol (SMEP), that would not only let you share social media content across different social media services but also allow for social media interaction that were independent of any particular social networking site.[1]

With an open standard social media interactions could become like email today. That would foster diversity of software in the same way today’s email clients come in different flavours and plenty of additional plug-ins. People could still use facebook as is[2] but others could use free and open-source software with extended functionalities such as off-line browsing, archiving, etc. Social media interactions could grow and expand in ways not seen before.[3]

The main advantage, however, would lie in privacy. Different social media clients, i.e. programs (stand-alone software applications) could communicate with each other without an central server. To illustrate the difference: if I send an email to a hundred friends (as blind copy), only I know who received the mails.[4] If I post on facebook, facebook knows all receivers and the sender plus later the likes, reposts, etc.

Stand-alone software applications could manage ʻfriendsʼ and ʻcircles of friendsʼ with full privacy: No company would know what kind of friends and how many I have and to whom I send what kind of content. With the addition of “anonymous likes”, i.e. likes that do not reveal the liker[5], the metadata of social media interactions would be drastically reduced. These steps alone are quantum leap forward in privacy.

All this could be implemented by an open social media standard.

Improving privacy means limiting the power of manipulation.

Even if the accusations that Trump won the presidency because of facebook are exaggerated, the extended power that comes with “big data” should not be overlooked. Decision about how much private data one gives to a company that sells it after to anyone that can pay – be it the Trump election team or a Swiss business party[6] – should be a matter of choice in a democratic society.

An open standard for social media interactions is therefore a democratic necessity in today’s world.


1 At present, social networking is site-based, i.e. the user has to create an account on a specific website to join.

2 If facebook were to adapt to the standards …

3 I personally see a fusion of email client, social media client, RSS feeds and twitter in one piece of software, were the messages are “facebook-like” in the middle with additional menus left and right. Tabs that are in effect filters could switch the view from business emails to entertaining social media content to political news, etc.

4 To be precise, for full anonymity I have to have my own private mail server with only myself having access to it. If I were to use any external service like gmail to send the mails through, the respective company can see and use the metadata.

5 I am not sure how to do that as the liker has to be prevented to like more than once. Maybe an approach similar to digital currency can do the trick, i.e. one `like` is anonymous but with a second `like` for the same post the anonymity would break.

6 Just weeks after the story came out, that Trump won because of facebook, a poll about ending all nuclear power in Switzerland seems to have been rejected by the people because of micro-targeting. The result – 54% no – has not been expected.

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