from October 5, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 October 5, 2018:
1. The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh
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. Bombshell Report Exposes Decades of Trump Tax Evasion
3. Critics Blast FBI's Kavanaugh Investigation as Utter Farce
4. This Is How White Male Privilege Is Destroying America
5. The Root of the Internet’s Disrepute: Online Advertising!
Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh
This article is in
fact a letter, said to be presented to the U.S. Senate
yesterday (October 4), that is signed by 2400+
whose reaction to Brett Kavanaugh´s testimony - which you can see here:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) (quite
interesting and strongly recommended) - is rather like mine.
The letter starts as follows:
temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the
Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a
personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet
firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.” The concern for
judicial temperament dates back to our founding; in Federalist 78,
titled “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton
expressed the need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”
We are law
professors who teach, research and write about the judicial
institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal
court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including
before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel
compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at
the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge
Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be
disqualifying for any court, and
certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land.
And yes, I think the law professors are also right in saying
added) that ¨Judge Brett
Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be
disqualifying for any court¨.
Here is more:
exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry. Instead of being
open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was
repeatedly aggressive with questioners. Even in his prepared remarks,
Judge Kavanaugh described the hearing as partisan, referring to it as
“a calculated and orchestrated political hit,” rather than
acknowledging the need for the Senate, faced with new information, to
try to understand what had transpired. Instead of trying to sort out
with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh
responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he
interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators.
Here is the last bit I quote:
And in fact this letter was
signed by no less than 2400+ law professors, while yesterday the
signatures stood at 650+, as you can see here. This is a strongly recommended article.
As you know,
under two statutes governing bias and recusal, judges must step aside
if they are at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair. As
Congress has previously put it, a judge or justice “shall disqualify
himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be
questioned.” These statutes are part of a myriad of legal commitments
to the impartiality of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of the
differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh. But
we are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial
institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and
judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land.
Report Exposes Decades of Trump Tax Evasion
This article is by
Julia Conley on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams. This starts
Undermining the narrative
President Donald Trump has aggressively promoted of his success as a
“self-made” billionaire—the platform upon which he has built his
success as a business mogul as well as his campaign for president in
2016—the New York Times released an explosive
in-depth report on Tuesday detailing schemes which allowed
Trump to avoid paying taxes on wealth that was transferred from his
parents to himself and his siblings.
The “dubious tax schemes”
Trump helped coordinate include cases of “outright fraud,” according to
Trump has for years been
fond of telling audiences that through hard work and financial know-how
he was able to transform a single $1 million loan from his father, Fred
Trump, into a $10 billion fortune—a tale that made him a popular figure
with those who voted for him in 2016.
Yes indeed - that is, I
affirm the last of the above paragraphs, whereas the two first
paragraphs were unknown to me.
Well, here is how
worked in fact, according to the Times:
So Trump was lying
on a very large scale: $413
million v. $1 million. But that was
not all: Trump´s parents also transferred over $1 billion to their five
children - but paid just $52.2 million instead of $550
million, as per
the American tax laws, netting them no less than $497 million:
But the Times reveals
that based on 100,000 pages of financial records—including 200 pages of
Fred Trump’s tax returns and those of the Trump empire’s
partnerships—and interviews with Fred Trump’s former associates, Trump
has received the equivalent of $413 million in 2018 dollars from his
father’s real estate empire—starting “when he was a toddler and continuing
to this day.”
Trump’s parents transferred over
$1 billion in wealth to their five children—a sum which should have
left the family with a $550 million tax bill. But the Trumps paid just
$52.2 million, or about 5 percent, rather than 55 percent under the tax
code at the time.
I say. This is a strongly
recommended article, that very probably soon will be followed up.
Blast FBI's Kavanaugh Investigation as Utter Farce
This article is by
Jon Queally on Truthdig and Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Calling into question the
entire probe, lawyers for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford issued a statement
late Wednesday confirming their client, who herself offered credible
testimony about Kavanaugh assaulting her while in high school, was
never contacted or interviewed by the FBI nor were numerous witnesses
they might have corroborated her claims.
“An FBI supplemental
background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr.
Christine Blasey Ford — nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony
— cannot be called an investigation,” said the statement. “We are
profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in
coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not
interested in seeking the truth.”
although I am not much amazed. Also, I desire to say that quite
recently James Comey, who was dismissed as the Director of the FBI by
Trump in May of this year, testified that, in his opinion the
quite capable of conducting the investigation into
Well... not if the FBI
omits from its investigation anyone who might testify against
Kavanaugh, like Dr. Ford herself, the witnesses who corroborate her
testimony, and also cases like this:
freshman-year roommate James Roach came forth Wednesday night, both
op-ed in Slate and with an interview
on CNN, to say unequivocally that Kavanaugh lied to the
Senate Judiciary Committee while under oath, he says the FBI refused to
I can only explain the
FBI´s ¨investigation¨ of Kavanaugh as a quasi-investigation,
that was designed NOT to interview anyone whose testimony might
Finally, here is Sen.
He is quite right. Then
again, I fear that 51 Republican senators rather nominate a drunk
ill-behaved rapist to the Supreme Court than properly investigate him.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
Amid all this, Sen. Patrick
Leahy, the longest-serving member from either party on the committee,
issued an epic mega-thread on Wednesday evening that lays out all the
ways in which Kavanaugh has a serious and documented “veracity problem”
that cannot simply be swept under the rug.
“I’ve pulled it all
together and summarized it here,” announced Leahy.
“With so much at stake in this lifetime appointment, the American
people, and the Senate, need to know.”
After laying out his case
in great detail, Leahy concluded:
LINE: It’s not just “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” or minimizing his
contemporaneous drinking or misogyny in his yearbook. On issues big and
small, anytime Judge Kavanaugh is faced with an incriminating or
difficult question under oath, he cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
— Sen. Patrick Leahy
Is How White Male Privilege Is Destroying America
This article is by
Chauncey DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It starts as
Yes - to the best of my
knowledge all of this is true. That was Kavanaugh, and here is Ford:
In a sociology textbook yet
to be written there will be a chapter on white male privilege. The
spectacle of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination will be one of
that textbook's primary case studies.
There are numerous credible
allegations against Kavanaugh, and multiple witnesses who confirm that
Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee and his friends participated
in a culture of sexual violence, debauchery, drunkenness and violence
while they were students at Georgetown Preparatory School and then at
During his testimony before
the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh repeatedly lied about a range
of topics including his drinking, personal relationships and other
behavior. It has also been reported by NBC that Kavanaugh also lied
about his knowledge of the sexual assault allegations made
against him by Deborah Ramirez.
Kavanaugh also claimed that
he was admitted into Yale University by "busting his tail" and that he
had no "special connections." This is nowhere near true. Kavanaugh was a legacy
admission; his grandfather attended Yale.
Moreover, during his Senate
testimony Kavanaugh displayed moments of fitful rage and anger.
Yes, quite so. And
As far as I recall this is the first
of very many
tweets that I have seen that does not
repeat the name of the
writer twice in the reports of the
tweets. And indeed I rarely
give tweets, and also tend to avoid articles that give more
than two or
three tweets, for I think tweets are an intentionally simplified abuse
By comparison, Christine
Blasey Ford was remarkably credible. She was calm and poised, even
while being, quite literally, publicly interrogated by a sex crimes
prosecutor hired by Republicans.
As Dr. Stacey Patton
summarized on Twitter:
White male privilege is
being able to cry during a job interview, interrupt the folks asking
questions, yell at them, ask snarky questions, refuse to give straight
answers, talk about how much you like to drink beer, and have other
white men on the committee empathize with you.
There also is quite a lot more in this article that I have skipped.
This is a recommended article.
Root of the Internet’s Disrepute: Online Advertising!
This article is by
on Common Dreams. This starts as follows:
I agree with most of this,
but did not know yet that the advertised ¨consumers are not intentionally clicking on
online ads in big numbers¨,
although I admit it does not amaze me at all.
In all the mounting media
coverage of problems with the Internet, such as invasion of privacy,
vulnerability to hacking, political manipulation, and user addiction,
there is one constant: online advertising. Online advertising is the
lifeblood of Google, Facebook, and many other Internet enterprises that
profit by providing personal data to various vendors. Moreover, the
move of tens of billions of dollars from conventional print and
broadcast media continues, with devastating impacts, especially on
print newspapers and magazines.
But does online advertising
work for consumers? The Internet was once considered a less commercial
medium. But today consumers are inundated with targeted ads, reviews,
comments, friends’ reactions, and other digital data.
Unfortunately for advertisers, consumers are not intentionally clicking
on online ads in big numbers.
Then again, I think I should also add that since I am not on
(and dislike touching it in any way), and do not use Google,
I am - very
happily - not ¨inundated
with targeted ads,
reviews, comments, friends’ reactions¨ etc. etc.
Here is more from this article:
Some companies like
Coca-Cola have cooled on using online advertising. But advertising
revenues keep growing for Google, Facebook, and the other
giants of the Internet. These companies are racing to innovate,
connecting ads to more tailored audiences, which tantalize and keeps
hope springing eternal for the advertisers. The Internet ad sellers
also provide detailed data to advertise themselves to the advertisers
staying one step ahead of growing skepticism. This is especially a
problem when there is inadequate government regulation of deceptive
advertising. It is the Wild West! Online advertising revenues are the
Achilles’ heel of these big Internet companies. Any decline will
deflate them immensely; more than public and Congressional criticism of
their intrusiveness, their massive allowed fakeries, their broken
promises to reform, and their openings to unsavory political and
commercial users. If they lose advertising revenue, a major revenue
bubble will burst and there goes their business model, along with their
funding for ventures from video hosting to global mapping.
I suppose this is true,
I cannot verify all. Then again, ¨advertising revenue¨ is the
source of income of Facebook, Google etc. and if that radically falls,
as it may very well if Nader is right that ¨consumers are not intentionally clicking on online ads in
big numbers¨, then Facebook,
Google etc. may be soon in serious trouble. (And I hope
they will be,
but do not know.)
The article ends as follows:
My answer to
Nader´s question ¨why
isn’t more public attention being paid to this root cause¨ is that this gets too close to
amounts of money Facebook, Google etc. make by stealing or deceitfully
appropriating private information they should not see at all, but I
have no direct evidence for this. And this is a strongly
In a recent report titled
“Digital Deceit,” authors Dipayan Ghosh and Ben Scott wrote:
The Central problem of
disinformation corrupting American political culture is not Russian
spies or a particular media platform. The central problem is that the
entire industry is built to leverage sophisticated technology to
aggregate user attention and sell advertising.
If so, why isn’t more
public attention being paid to this root cause? Not by the mass media
which is obviously too compromised by the Congress, by academia, or by
more of US before “We the People” become the conditioned responders
that Ivan Pavlov warned about so many years ago.
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 (!!).