from May 3, 2018
B. One extra bit
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
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
These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from May 3, 2018
1. Cambridge Analytica to File for Bankruptcy After Misuse of
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. Uncle Sam, the Human Rights Hypocrite
3. Fighting Off Foreign Payments Lawsuit, Trump Asserts
4. Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Understand Journalism
5. An Open Letter to Jeff Sessions on Corporate Crime
Analytica to File for Bankruptcy After Misuse of Facebook Data
article is by Nicholas Confessore and Matthew Rosenberg on The New York
Times. It starts as follows:
political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica announced on Wednesday
that it would cease most operations and file for bankruptcy amid
growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work
for Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign.
The decision was
made less than two months after Cambridge Analytica and Facebook became
embroiled in a data-harvesting scandal that compromised the personal
information of up to 87 million people. Revelations
about the misuse of data, published in March by The New York Times
and The Observer of London, plunged Facebook into crisis and prompted
regulators and lawmakers to open investigations into Cambridge
there also were ¨revelations¨ that were not in the
mainstream media like the New York Times and The Observer, and - in my
opinion, at least - these were usually better, more
informative, longer and more truthful.
the main news is Cambridge Analytica - thieves of 87
million private profiles of internet users, that were quite
possibly used to make Trump win the elections (although Mueller doesn´t
seem to investigate that realistic possibility: the elections
have been stolen by the Russians, seems Mueller´s false tack) - is
statement posted to its website, Cambridge Analytica said the
controversy had driven away virtually all of the company’s customers,
forcing it to file for bankruptcy in both the United States and
Britain. The elections division of Cambridge’s British affiliate, SCL
Group, will also shut down, the company said.
company’s announcement left several questions unanswered, including who
would retain the company’s intellectual property — the so-called
psychographic voter profiles built in part with data from Facebook —
and whether Cambridge Analytica’s data-mining business would return
under new auspices.
opinion, until the thieves of Cambridge Analytica disappear in
prison for 10 to 20 years (which is most unlikely), (i)
Cambridge Analytica´s closure serves to give as little information
as possible to the press, and (ii) it will soon start under an
other name, and keep using ¨the company’s¨ - STOLEN - ¨intellectual property¨, and (iii) will be doing further
services, especially profitable but doubtfully legal services to very
rich billionaires like the Mercers.
some more about Robert Mercer and Cambridge Analytica apparently
thoroughly corrupt chief executive:
bankrolled by Robert Mercer, a wealthy Republican donor who invested at
least $15 million, offered tools that it claimed could identify the
personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. Those
modeling techniques underpinned Cambridge Analytica’s work for the
Trump campaign and for other candidates in 2014 and 2016.
The company was
also forced to suspend its chief executive, Alexander Nix, after a
British television channel released
an undercover video. In it, Mr. Nix suggested that the company had
used seduction and bribery to entrap politicians and influence foreign
This is a recommended article, and I added a fine story today
as an extra bit: The Weaponization of the Media,
below, that is strongly recommended.
Sam, the Human Rights Hypocrite
article is by Paul Street on Truthdig. This a very fine article
starts as follows (and is only very partially reviewed here,
Yes, I totally
agree. I also have some additional introductory points, the
first a link while the others consist of several serious warnings.
This year marks the 70th
anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Signed by the United States
and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948,
the document was a great and shining step forward in the articulation
of how human beings might organize their social and political systems
in accord with democratic and civilized ideals.
The U.S. has long wielded
the Universal Declaration (UD) as a weapon to brandish selectively
against officially designated enemies. But seven decades after its
signing (and trumpeting) the document, American society stands in
rarely noted gross violation of the declaration’s key principles.
Take the UD’s first’s
article: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and
rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act
towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
The United States falls far
short here. Someone born into one of the 57
of U.S. households
with less than $1,000 in savings will not enjoy remotely the same
amount of “dignity and rights” as those enjoyed by someone born into
percent of households, which together possess as much wealth as the
bottom 90 percent of U.S. citizens. Access to basic means of comfort,
dignity and freedom—like quality housing, quality education, strong
legal representation, leisure, travel, health care, quality food and
recreation—is filtered by the militantly disparate distribution of
wealth and income in the U.S., the most savagely unequal nation among
all Western “capitalist democracies.”
The link is to my own copy of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In fact, that copy
is eight years old and was added to my site in the first half
of 2010 (in a medical context).
The serious warnings are these:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights - and I mean the real
one, of 1948 - although it is mentioned fairly
frequently, seems to be rarely read, and is by now almost
completely without any political influence.
Second, there are various reasons why that Universal Declaration is
without influence, but they can be mostly put together by saying that
(i) the - real - Universal Declaration of Human Rights is strongly
disliked by almost all governments, because if
were taken seriously many tasks of governments should be
changed, and the governments nearly all strongly dislike any
diminution or restriction on their powers, and (ii) most
governments have in fact articulated alternatives to the - real - Universal Declaration of Human
Third, one of the sickest, most inhuman and explicitly terrorist
replacements of the
- real - Universal
Declaration of Human Rights is the utterly degenerate totally immoral
replacement of the European Union of the original Universal Declaration of Human
Rights by their sick, neofascistic and terroristic replacement,
so-called ¨European Convention on Human Rights¨.
The basic difference between this neofascistic
version - that dates back to 1950! - and the Universal
is that the Universal Declaration forbade state terrorism,
while the European Convention of ¨Human
Rights¨ ascertains that all state terrorists of each and every European
government have the ¨positive obligation¨
to - secretly
with anyone who attacks their state, according to its
The sick Wikipedia formulates this as follows:
sometimes comprises positive obligations:
whereas classical human rights are formulated as prohibiting a State
from interfering with rights, and thus not to do something
(e.g. not to separate a family under family life protection), the
effective enjoyment of such rights may also include an obligation for
the State to become active, and to do something
That is in clearer
words: the - secret! - terrorists that are employed by every
government as their very own - secret! - security are now obliged to destroy
all human rights and all behaviors that their
governments are displeased with.
Here is more by
Article 2 of the UD
proclaims, among other things, that everyone is entitled to human
rights and freedoms without distinctions of “race, color” and “national
or social origin.” Here again, the U.S. stands in stark contravention.
Median white wealth is 12
times higher than median black wealth in the U.S.—a reflection of
persistent anti-black discrimination and segregation built into the
nation’s social structures and institutions.
The UD’s fourth
article declares, “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.”
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. prisoners—the modern-day and very
disproportionately nonwhite human chattel that provides the essential
raw material for the self-declared “Land of Freedom’s” curiously
gigantic prison-industrial complex—perform labor tasks for tiny levels
of compensation and often for no payment at all. The Global
Slavery Index estimates that 57,000 people are victims of human
trafficking, the modern form of slavery, with illegal smuggling and
trading of people, for forced labor or sexual exploitation, in the
There is much more
in the article, that is strongly recommended.
Off Foreign Payments Lawsuit, Trump Asserts 'Absolute Immunity'
article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Claiming the president has "absolute
immunity" from legal action both in his official capacity and as a
private individual, lawyers representing Donald Trump called on a
federal court to toss out a
lawsuit accusing him of violating the Constitution's Emoluments
Clause by accepting payments from foreign governments at the Trump
International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Norm Eisen, former White
House ethics official and chair of Citizens for Ethics and
Responsibility in Washington, said that if the court accepts Trump's
argument, it would effectively mean the president "is beyond the reach
of the law."
by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia in
June, the suit accuses Trump of committing "unprecedented
constitutional violations" by refusing to "disentangle his private
finances from those of domestic and foreign powers."
This is utter bullshit -
and I don´t mean Jake Johnson´s text, but the claim of the president´s
lawyers that he has ¨absolute immunity¨: If so, Trump = God.
And while I feel sure Trump agrees, I agree with the attorneys general of Maryland and the
District of Columbia. And I also note Trump´s private dealings
as president were - and still are - a major legal
Here is some more:
In his court filing, Trump
lawyer William Consovoy argued the Maryland-D.C. suit "has the
potential to divert the president's attention from his official duties.
The Supreme Court has concluded that the costs to the nation of
allowing such suits to distract the president from his official duties
outweigh any countervailing interests."
As AP reports,
Consovoy also "argued that federal officials can only be targeted for
accepting unconstitutional payments in their official government
function and not as private citizens. But in the case of the president,
Consovoy added, Trump is also 'absolutely immune' from legal action in
his official capacity."
Is Consovoy perhaps insane? I
have no idea, and in fact suspect he is as dishonest as he is tall, but
in any case, his filing is complete bullshit,
and this is a recommended article.
Zuckerberg Doesn’t Understand Journalism
article is by Adrienne LaFrance on Common Dreams and originally on The
Atlantic. I should add, before going on, that the title seems
quite odd, but it is balanced by a subtitle:
Either that, or he
conclude he doesn´t care. More below. Here is the start of the article:
Yes, quite so.
Zuckerberg made $70 billon that way, in merely 14 years,
which means he
made $5 billion each year (on average), which means he made almost
$14 million dollars a day, which in turn means he
made $570,766 - over
half a million dollars - each hour,
for 14 years, all averaged out.
Mark Zuckerberg wants you
to know that he cares, really cares, about journalism.
“I view our responsibility
in news as two things,” he said in a wide-ranging conversation with a
small group of news editors and executives assembled in Palo Alto for a
journalism gathering known as Off the Record on Tuesday afternoon. “One
is making sure people can get trustworthy news.”
The other, he said, “is
building common ground in society.” It turns out that “common ground”
is suddenly Zuckerberg’s preferred euphemism. (That, and “community.”)
“You’re not going to be
able to bridge common ground,” he said, unless you have a “common set
of facts so that you can at least have a coherent debate.”
And here’s where the
contradictions flood in.
Zuckerberg runs a media
company that distributes news, but doesn’t have a proper newsroom. He
runs a media company that has—with Google’s help—dominated the vast
majority of digital ad dollars and eviscerated the journalism
industry’s business model, all while preaching about the importance of
journalism. He runs a media company that, he says, believes deeply in
the need to sustain independent journalism, but won’t pay publishers to
license journalistic content. And he runs a media company that has
decided to show its users less news from professional outlets—it’s
really not what people want to see, he says—in favor of more individual
You think a man who makes more per hour than all 100 senators
may get in a week or a month has any
responsibility? I do not. (If only because he has the money to
buy almost everyone.)
Besides, here is another argument:
Deciding what to
believe based on other people’s opinions is not only not journalistic,
it’s arguably hostile to the press as a democratic institution. The
truth may be nuanced, but reportable facts are often quite
straightforward. As any journalist can tell you, the best answer to the
question “what happened?” is not why don’t you ask a bunch of your
friends what they think, organize their views along a spectrum, and
then decide where to plant yourself.
but over 2 billion morons seem to think their ¨Facebook
friends¨ do know everything better than qualified
And this is a strongly recommended article.
Open Letter to Jeff Sessions on Corporate Crime
article - indeed in fact an open letter - is by Ralph Nader and Robert
Weissman on Common Dreams. It starts as follows (after the address,
which is indeed Jeff Sessions´ official one):
Indeed - and to say
least! Here is what Nader and Weissman believe is necessary:
Dear Attorney General
The U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) has been clear about the dangers posed by corporate crime.
In its strategic plan for
fiscal years 2014-18, the DOJ states that economic crimes present “very
severe threats to the United States’ economy” and that the “explosion
of financial fraud over the past few years has threatened the Nation’s
To put the gravity of these
threats in context, the DOJ has recognized that “threats to the U.S.
economic system must be addressed with the same seriousness and sense
of purpose that guide efforts to protect the safety of the Nation.”
In similar terms, the DOJ
calls health care fraud “one of the most destructive and widespread
national challenges facing our country.”
In April 2017, you told a
group of compliance officers meeting in Washington, D.C., “We will
enforce the law. We’re not going to back down to powerful forces,
big companies or powerful economic interests.”
To properly face these
major threats, it is important that the DOJ have more specific and
timely ways to measure the incidence and severity of corporate crime,
to determine whether its efforts against them are successful or not,
and the many ways they might be improved.
Currently, the DOJ does not
compile comprehensive data on corporate crime. This is a notable
The DOJ should launch a
parallel program for corporate crime and law-breaking, including but
not limited to antitrust and price-fixing, environmental crimes,
financial crimes, overseas bribery, health care fraud, trade
violations, labor and employment-related violations (discrimination and
occupational injuries and deaths), consumer fraud and damage to
consumer health and safety, and corporate tax fraud onshore and
A pittance invested here
will go a long way toward promoting more lawful corporate behavior and
the critical public support the DOJ needs for adequate enforcement
budgets and stronger laws.
The DOJ should produce and
maintain a corporate crime database. This is an elemental form of
Quite so. And here
At a minimum, the corporate
crime database should:
- Be searchable by parent
company, major subsidiaries, corporate official name, industry, type of
crime, city, state, and date of crime.
- Contain individual
company data, including the number of civil, administrative and
criminal enforcement actions brought against corporate defendants by
government agencies involving a felony charge, misdemeanor, or civil
charge where potential fines may be $1,000 or more.
- Specify the agency
bringing each charge, the charge, the name of the company charged
(including the ultimate parent company), and the outcome of the action
if any, including plea agreements, consent decrees, findings of
innocence, convictions, and fines and other penalties.
It should include
not only costs of crimes committed by individuals against businesses
and investors (white-collar crime), but also the costs that corporate
crime imposes on the rest of society, including the resulting deaths,
injuries and property damage. In addition, millions of Americans lost
their jobs, due to the financial crisis of 2008-9, which was caused by
mortgage fraud and reckless speculative Wall Street gambling. Imagine
Americans lost trillions of dollars because of financial sector greed
so - but here is one more highly relevant fact:
1980 Reagan became president, and since then - that is: for 39 years
there has been no ¨thorough
analysis of corporate crime in America¨ whatsoever.
More than one-third of a
century has elapsed since the DOJ issued a thorough analysis of
corporate crime in America (“Illegal Corporate Behavior”, October 1979).
We are well into the 21st
century, and non-governmental unofficial databases on corporate crime
have been created to partially fill the void.
This is a strongly recommended article.
B. One extra bit
Persons who read considerably more of Nederlog
than a few daily bits -
Nederlog exists since 2006 (or indeed, but the first two years
only about Holland, since
2004) and is fully present on my site - know that
couple of years ago I regularly reviewed seven or eight articles a day.
I stopped doing so for various reasons some years ago. The most
important one is that I have a serious chronic
disease since 1.i.1979 (and meanwhile am almost 68, and also got
serious eye- problems in 2012, that have lessened but have not
disappeared), while a
secondary important one is that I thought reviewing 5 of the best or
most interesting articles I could find every day on 35 sites was
generally sufficient (while it is also something I do not know anyone
But occasionally I do find special bits, and this is one:
This article -
which originally is a podcast - is by James Corbett on
his site. This is from near the beginning:
Now openly admitted,
governments and militaries around the world employ armies of keyboard
warriors to spread propaganda and disrupt their online opposition.
Their goal? To shape public discourse around global events in a way
favourable to their standing military and geopolitical objectives.
Their method? The Weaponization of Social Media. This is The Corbett
Yes, I agree (although
¨Weaponization¨ is a metaphor). Here is more:
Precisely. And here
list of the most dominant asocial media:
It didn’t take long from
the birth of the world wide web for the public to start using this new
medium to transmit, collect and analyze information in ways never
before imagined. The first message boards and clunky “Web 1.0” websites
soon gave way to “the blogosphere.” The arrival of social media was the
next step in this evolution, allowing for the formation of communities
of interest to share information in real time about events happening
anywhere on the globe.
But as quickly as
communities began to form around these new platforms, governments and
militaries were even quicker in recognizing the potential to use this
new medium to more effectively spread their own propaganda.
Their goal? To shape public
discourse around global events in a way favourable to their standing
military and geopolitical objectives.
YouTube. Snapchat. Instagram. Reddit. “Social media” as we know it
today barely existed fifteen years ago. Although it provides new ways
to interact with people and information from all across the planet
virtually instantaneously and virtually for free, we are only now
beginning to understand the depths of the problems associated with
these new platforms. More and more of the original developers of social
media sites like Facebook and Twitter admit they no longer use social media
themselves and actively keep it away from their children, and now they
are finally admitting the reason why: social media was designed
specifically to take advantage of your psychological weaknesses and
keep you addicted to your screen.
Yes indeed. Here is more:
It should be no
surprise, then, that in this world of social media addicts and
smartphone zombies, the 24/7 newsfeed is taking up a greater and
greater share of people’s lives. Our thoughts, our opinions, our
knowledge of the world, even our mood are increasingly being influenced
or even determined by what we see being posted, tweeted or vlogged. And
the process by which these media shape our opinions is being carefully
monitored and analyzed, not by the social media companies themselves,
but by the US military.
Quite so (and besides,
¨the US military¨ in the form of the NSA (and its associates) in fact download
absolutely everything they
can get in any way: see here).
Here is more:
Yes indeed - and I think this was already planned between
1967 and 1970 by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who then was a very high
DARPA official, who wrote between 1967 and 1970 these words,
which exactly correspond to what
the DARPA got with the introduction of the worldwide web, html, and
totally unencrypted emails.
The DARPA document that
details the Pentagon’s plans for influencing opinions in the social
media space is called “Social Media in Strategic Communication.”
DARPA’s goal, according to their own website, is “to develop
tools to help identify misinformation or deception campaigns and
counter them with truthful information.”
Exactly what tools were
developed for this purpose and how they are currently being deployed is
unclear. But Rand Walzman, the program’s creator, admitted last year
that the project lasted four years, cost $50 million and led to the
publication of over 200 papers. The papers, including “Incorporating
Human Cognitive Biases in a Probabilistic Model of Retweeting,” “Structural Properties of Ego Networks,”
and “Sentiment Prediction using
Collaborative Filtering,” make the thrust of the program perfectly
clear. Social media users are lab rats being carefully scrutinized by
government-supported researchers, their tweets and Facebook posts and
Instagram pictures being analyzed to determine how information spreads
online, and, by implication, how the government and the military can
use these social media networks to make their own propaganda “go viral.”
As worrying as this
research is, it pales in comparison to the knowledge that governments,
militaries and political lobby groups are already employing squadrons
of foot soldiers to wage information warfare in the social media
idea of the
technotronic society seems to be under the auspices
Brezezinski, until recently a member of the
Staff of the State Department, and now Director
Research Institute of Communist Affairs at Columbia
The 'technotronic society' seems to be the exact
society of 'spontaneity' demanded by revolutionary
students, who Mr Brezezinskin evidently regards as
throw-backs, survivors of Romantic days, forlornly playing
And in 1970:
leaving the phase of spontaneity and is entering a more self-conscious state;
ceasing to be an industrial society, its is being shaped to an
ever-increasing extent by technology and electronics, and thus becoming the first
Mr Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite lovers
anarchy will seriously obstruct the new order.
'it will soon be possible to assert almost continuous
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to- date,
containing even personal information
personal behaviour of the citizen, in addition
customary data.' Moreover it will be possible
and plan to meet any uprisings in the future.
will even be able to forecast crises before the rioters
conscious of wanting them.
In brief: It
was all planned
from the very start (or indeed before: in 1967 there
were no PCs as
yet). Also, while I quote the above from Stephen Spender´s
text of 1969 (¨The Year of the Young Rebels¨) - which is on the
internet totally unretrievable - and
could get some facts from earlier versions of Brzezinski´s
file on Wikipedia, these earlier versions all have been ¨cleaned up¨ so
as to contain nothing of the above.
involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a
society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional
values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files
containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These
files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities."
Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970
There is a lot more in the article and it is strongly
have now been
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 (!!).