from September 29, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 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.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from September 29, 2018:
1. American Dissident: Noam Chomsky on the State
of the Empire
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. Women Are
Security Breach Exposes Accounts of 50 Million Users
Ford, and Power
Kavanaugh, the All-American Privileged Boy
Dissident: Noam Chomsky on the
State of the Empire
This article is by
Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
The world laughed at
U.S. President Donald Trump at the United Nations, but the imperial
declarations he issued are no laughing matter. Trump may come off as a
buffoon, but his global agenda is consistent with the bipartisan empire
machine that runs the United States. This week on Intercepted: Famed
dissident Noam Chomsky breaks down the Trump presidency; the defeat of
the U.S. in Afghanistan; what he believes is a just position on Syria’s
civil war; and the agenda of Vladimir Putin and Russia. He also
discusses the impact of big social media companies and explains why a
life of resisting and fighting is worth it. Jeremy Scahill analyzes
Trump’s U.N. speech and gives context to the seldom-discussed
bipartisan support for much of Trump’s global agenda. Dallas hip-hop
artist Bobby Sessions talks about police killings and this political
moment. We also hear music from his new EP, “RVLTN (Chapter 1): The
Divided States of AmeriKKKa.”
In fact, this is the complete
introduction, that serves to show you what is there, but I will only
concerned with Chomsky, and in fact selected three bits. There is a
whole lot more in the article.
Here is the first bit with Chomsky (and I suppose the abbreviations are
Chomsky, welcome Intercepted.
glad to be with you.
JS: If you
watch, and I know you are not a fan of television news, but if you
watch particularly MSNBC or CNN right now or you read the major
newspapers in the United States, you can come away with the impression
that Donald Trump and his administration, his presidency, represent
this grand departure from the way things are done in the United States
How much of a departure is
the Trump presidency from the bipartisan Washington empire consensus —
the way that the U.S. has been governed throughout its history?
are some differences and many continuities. On the domestic scene,
Trump is, very effectively, managing both of his constituencies.
There’s an authentic
constituency of corporate power and private wealth and they’re being
served magnificently by the executive orders, legislative programs that
are being pushed through which represent the more savage wing of the
traditional Republican policies — catering to private interests,
private wealth, and dismissing the rest as irrelevant and easily
At the same time, he’s
managing to maintain the voting constituency by pretending, very
effectively, to be the one person in the world who stands up for them
against the hated elites. And this is quite an impressive con job. How
long he can carry it off? I don’t know. On the international scene,
it’s actually more interesting.
Yes, I think this
analysis is fundamentally correct. (I also like to add that I don't
have a TV since 1970, and even on Youtube rarely watch
it: Too much is
simply too stupid or too dishonest. But yes, this is personal.)
Here is more (and the
abbreviations I suppose are clear):
DJT: I am
announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran
nuclear deal. In a few moments, I will sign a presidential memorandum
to begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We
will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction.
in isolation from the entire world, in this case. And that’s very
serious and the most serious of all, by far overshadowing everything
else, is his pulling out of the Paris negotiations.
I more or less agree,
and yes: Both actions were unique to the United States, which
is to say
that no other country followed the USA.
Here is the last bit I
year’s 30 years since you and the great late Ed Herman published
“Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media,” and I
wanted to get your thoughts on the role that huge social media
companies play in our society, given that they are replacing a lot of
news organizations, or the way that people — changing the way people
consume information Google, Facebook, Twitter, ttc. There’s a lot of
talk about this there’s hearings on Capitol Hill. There’s a lot of
pleading with the billionaires to kick certain people off of social
media, remove their accounts.
What about the way that
these entities the — Facebook’s, Google’s, Twitter’s of the world have
changed us as people, and our society, and the way we process,
disseminate, absorb information?
your words process, and disseminate and absorb are correct. But not
produce. The source of information remains the major media, the
correspondence on the ground — who often do excellent and courageous
and very valuable work. Facebook and the rest may filter information
that they get from those sources and present it in ways which much of
the public finds it is easier to digest. I don’t think that’s a healthy
development, but it is happening. And that means essentially, dividing
much of the population of much discussion of this into cocoons, into
bubbles, into which they receive the information conducive to their own
interests and commitments.
Google, Facebook and the rest, those are commercial institutions. Their
constituency is basically advertisers and they would like to establish
the kinds of controls over their consumers that will be beneficial to
their business model that enabled them to get advertising. That has
very serious distorting effects. And we know that they provide massive
information to the corporate system, which they use in their own
efforts to try to shape and control behavior and opinion. All of this
is a dangerous development that the power of these private corporations
to direct people, in particular, directions and so on, that’s a serious
problem which requires considerable thought and attention.
I agree, although it is
my guess (largely because I avoid Facebook, Google, Twitter,
Apple and Microsoft) that Chomsky may be a bit incorrect about
"productions" on Facebook (especially), simply because (as Chomsky
says) "Facebook and the
rest may filter information that they get from those sources and
present it in ways which much of the public finds it is easier to
In fact, these seem to
be concessions to the average stupidity and ignorance of
users, and I think these are productions, rather precisely in
the sense that I see these days e.g. on Mother Jones, that over
previous weekend made all copying impossible
and also seems to
shorten many of its article (as does AlterNet),
apparently to make
them fit Tweet formats.
probably will remove both from the list of 35 sites I look at
I very strongly dislike being
served Tweets instead of journalism, and
making copying impossible is a major step towards neofascism
The Guardian) for now you cannot even
discuss the news anymore if you
read these sites.
And there is a whole
lot more in the present article, that is strongly recommended.
This article is by
The Editorial Board of The New York Times. It starts as follows:
at me when I’m talking to you! You’re telling me that my assault
doesn’t matter. That what happened to me doesn’t matter!”
anguished words came from Maria Gallagher, who, along with Ana Maria
Archila, confronted Senator
Jeff Flake after he announced on Friday morning that he would vote
to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, as Mr. Flake stood in
a Capitol Hill elevator that he clearly wished could transport him far,
cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have
someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young
girl,” raged Ms. Archila, who told the senator that she too had been
Flake did little more than awkwardly mumble that he had to go and that
he had already issued a statement about this matter. Even so, a few
hours later, as the Judiciary Committee gathered to vote on whether to
recommend Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate, the lawmaker
announced that he could support a floor vote only if there was first a
weeklong delay to allow for a targeted investigation by the F.B.I.
Soon, Senator Lisa Murkowski had joined the call for a delay, giving
the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, little choice. At the White
House, President Trump was calling Christine Blasey Ford a “credible”
and “compelling” witness and saying that he was no longer sure that
Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination would “continue onward.”
I say, for I did not know this (and yes, I could
if I had read quite a few of the hundreds pf articles on
Kavanaugh that I saw, which I di not, for I strongly dislike
Kavanaugh and I also
dislike the useless complication of hundreds of journalists milking the
same subject - sorry).
Here is some more:
Along with all the
protests and the political organizing, women have stepped up to run for
office in record numbers. Polls show the gender gap to be growing ever
wider in terms of whom women plan to vote for. (Hint: It’s not
Republicans.) The Kavanaugh debacle is unlikely to help — barring an
exculpatory revelation, of course. After the allegations against him
surfaced, a similar gender gap began opening up in terms of who
supported his nomination.
Yes, I think this may very
well be correct - and if just 10%
of the 100 million
Americans who did not vote in the presidential elections do
vote in 2018 and 2020, and do vote for 2/3rd
on the Democrats,
then Trump will probably loose first the House and then the presidency.
And this is a recommended article.
We don’t know about the whole
country. Certainly, die-hard partisans will stick by their party, come
what may. But, where more and more women are concerned, Republicans are
overdue for a reckoning. Women have not simply been watching. They’ve
been preparing their response. That response may come in 2018 or in
2020. But it will come.
Security Breach Exposes Accounts of 50 Million Users
article is by Mike Isaac and Sheera Frenkel on The New York Times. This
starts as follows:
facing scrutiny over how it handles the private information of its
users, said on Friday that an attack on its computer network had
exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users.
breach, which was discovered this week, was the largest in the
company’s 14-year history. The attackers exploited a feature in
Facebook’s code to gain access to user accounts and potentially take
control of them.
news could not have come at a worse time for Facebook. It has been
buffeted over the last year by scandal, from revelations that a British
analytics firm got access to the private information of up to 87 million users to worries that disinformation on
Facebook has affected elections and even led to deaths in several
executives have testified several times this year in congressional
hearings where some lawmakers suggested that the government will need
to step in if the social network is unable to get tighter control of
its service. On Friday, regulators and lawmakers quickly seized on the
breach to renew calls for more oversight.
I say. Well... my own
opinion is that Facebook is a
criminal organization that steals the privacies of almost all its
members to sell them to advertisers; that it is led by
Zuckerberg, who apparently is a sadist who loves spying on the personal
privacies - e-mails, photographs etc. etc. - of his "members"; and that
Facebook should be shut down as soon as possible.
And I know this is not a common opinion, but at
this opinion is fact
based and not fantasy based.
Here is more:
software flaws in Facebook’s systems allowed hackers to break into user
accounts, including those of the top executives Mark Zuckerberg and
Sheryl Sandberg, according to two people familiar with the
investigation but not allowed to discuss it publicly. Once in, the
attackers could have gained access to apps like Spotify, Instagram and
hundreds of others that give users a way to log into their systems
software bugs were particularly awkward for a company that takes pride
in its engineering: The first two were introduced by an online tool
meant to improve the privacy of users. The third was introduced in July
2017 by a tool meant to easily upload birthday videos.
I would like to see the private mails of the
Zuckerberg and Sandberg, though I do not know I will. Also - having
heard so very many lies from Facebook - I would not be amazed
at all if
these supposed "software flaws" were not
since these were supposed "flaws" in (bolding added) "an online tool" that was said to mean
"to improve the privacy of users": No it did not; it destroyed the privacies of
55 million Facebook users.
Finally, here is another nicety of Facebook:
the news of Facebook’s data breach spread quickly across Twitter,
Google searches and other online sites, there was one place where it
remained difficult to find some detailed reports: Facebook.
who posted breaking stories about the breach from The Guardian, The
Associated Press and other outlets were prompted with a notice that
their posts had been taken down. So many people were posting the
stories, they looked like suspicious activity to the systems that
Facebook uses to block abuse of its network.
removed this post because it looked like spam to us,” the notice said.
I say: Bullshit. You
removed them because you did not
want your "members" to read yet another major break in your sick,
stealing and morally degenerate software.
Ford, and Power
This article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as
Make no mistake: The drama
that took place in hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on
September 27, 2018 was about power: On one side, the power of men
who harass or abuse women and get away with it, the power of privileged
white men to entrench their power even more on the Supreme Court, the
power of men to take away a woman’s right to choose what she does with
On the other side, the
power of women with the courage to tell what has happened to them, to
demand an end to white male privilege, and to preserve and enlarge
their constitutional rights.
Dr. Ford was poised,
articulate, clear and convincing. No one who witnessed her testimony
and her responses could conclude that she failed to tell the truth.
More than that: She radiated self-assured power.
Brett Kavanaugh showed
himself to be a vicious partisan – a Trump-like figure who feels
entitled to do and say whatever he wants, who suspects leftwing plots
against him, who refuses to take responsibility for his actions, who
uses emotional bullying and intimidation to get his way.
Yes indeed. Also, while
I strongly dislike Kavanaugh anyway, the hearings also
showed that Kavanaugh cannot even control himself.
Kavanaugh should not
be a member of the Supreme Court. Here is the last bit of Reich that I
quote from this article:
Yes, I agree - and
I will also stop to believe any decision by a Supreme Court
with a rapist in it. And this is a recommended article.
Kavanaugh may still get on
the Supreme Court, but there can no longer be any doubt about his
temperament or character, or his politics. A large share of the
American public will never trust him to be impartial. Many will never
believe his denials of sexual harassment. Most will continue to see him
as the privileged, arrogant, self-righteous person he has revealed
himself to be.
Kavanaugh, the All-American Privileged Boy
This article is by Michael Winship on Common Dreams. It
starts as follows:
yearbook, on the other hand, reveals a plethora of infantile jock jokes
about booze and sex from him and his pals, including repeated double
entendre jibes aimed at a young woman named Renate at another school.
He now says that he and his buddies “cringe” that they did this kind of
thing but that the references to the woman were made out of respect.
Sure they were. So why does she say the comments were “horrible,
hurtful and simply untrue?”
Yes indeed. Here is more:
There were three stages to
Thursday’s Senate hearing on the first of the drunken sexual misconduct
allegations made against Kavanaugh. The session began as an
embarrassment, a circus, a sham.
Part of the rigging
was bringing in Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona,
to ask the Republicans’ questions so as not to expose them for the
out-of-touch, misogynistic gang they are (too late, boys). There were
strict time limits on questions and even the insistence on a smaller
hearing space to restrain the press and keep the public out of the room.
This seems also quite correct. And then there was
But then Christine Blasey Ford
began to testify, and she spoke with simple, powerful conviction and an
unshakeable adherence to the facts of her trauma that the prosecutor
could not crack. She was “one hundred percent” certain that
Kavanaugh had been her assailant, his friend Mark Judge in the bedroom
egging him on.
Then Judge Kavanaugh
appeared and turned the same room in which spectators had wept upon
hearing his accuser’s story into a spittle-flecked chamber of vitriol
and hate. His face flushed and contorted, that sense of entitlement
inculcated in youth turned to rage and victimhood. In his opening
statement he blamed his troubles not on his own alleged misdeeds but
the dark doings of outside forces. They’re the ones at fault, he said.
How dare they threaten what was rightfully his?
I think this is quite
accurate - and in fact here are two fairly important former backers
of Kavanaugh who reconsidered their earlier decisions:
Revenge? His was not a
judicial temperament. It was the unhinged ranting of a hyper-partisan,
right-wing ideologue who should not be allowed to serve as an associate
justice of SCOTUS.
Bar Association, which had previously declared Kavanaugh
“well-qualified” for the job, called for a delay. Hell, even the
Jesuits are turning against their alumnus. After the hearing Thursday,
the Jesuit magazine America withdrew its endorsement, the editors
writing that, “even if the credibility of the allegation has not been
established beyond a reasonable doubt and even if further investigation
is warranted to determine its validity or clear Judge Kavanaugh’s name,
we recognize that this nomination is no longer in the best interests of
I'd say Kavanaugh's behavior
has disqualified him as a member of the Supreme Court.
Finally, this is from the ending of the article, and while it does not
have much to do with Kavanaugh or the Supreme Court I do like
to make a remark on it:
It’s said that St.
Francis Xavier, founder of the Jesuit order in the 16th century,
pronounced, “Give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the
Yes - and for me, whose mind was
not upset, abused, falsified nor forced by any
teachings of any church, because both of my parents were atheists: I think
St. Xavier was quite right about the great majority of children that
are exposed to religious education until they are seven, which for
me is a very strong reason to object to all
manner of religious
education (in any religion also) of children. And this is a strongly
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 (!!).