1. Bernie Sanders
Flipping Presidential Script, Turning
Democratic Race Into Epic
2. Donald Trump Is Dangerous to Women
3. Court Explains Why
Cops Cannot Use Cell Phones 'As
Real-Time Tracking Devices'
4. Bernie Sanders Has an Interesting Theory About Why
the Republican Party Exists
5. Corporate Debt Defaults Explode To
Not Seen Since The Last
6. All the numbers spell disaster for Trump
This is a Nederlog of Friday, April 1,
crisis blog. There are 6 items with 7 dotted links: Item
1 is about what seems to me "the average position" (at present)
about who is going to be the next American president; item
2 is about an article by Kali Holloway, who is angry with Trump
(with reason); item 3 is about a fine recent court
decision: Stingraying people should be forbidden; item 4
is about a stupid article by Tim Murphy, who apparently has no head for logic; item 5 is about the chances that there will soon be a
crisis like 2009's or bigger; and item 6
is about two articles that both insist that it is very unlikely that
Trump will win the presidential elections (and I conclude they are
probably correct - if there is not another major attack
before the presidential elections).
1. Bernie Sanders Flipping
Presidential Script, Turning Democratic Race Into Epic Contest
Also, I uploaded the latest version of the crisis index (this is the 1169-th article about the crisis that
I wrote since September 1, 2008).
And I may write about various definitions of fascism in the weekend,
although I do not know that yet.
first item is by Eugene Robinson on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
If not for a certain Manhattan
billionaire, Bernie Sanders’ surprising strength and Hillary Clinton’s
relative weakness would be the big political story of the year.
Most of this is mere guessing, as I grant is
indicated by the various "would be"s. There are also several things I
disagree with, but - I would guess, as anyone writing now must
most things relating to electing the next American president - I take
it this is more or less the average American point of view.
Democrats are fortunate that bloody
insurrection is roiling the Republican Party. Clinton—the likely
Democratic nominee—will almost surely face either Donald Trump, who is
toxic to most of the electorate, or an alternative chosen at the GOP
convention and seen by Trumpistas as a usurper.
Clinton would be favored to beat either
Trump or his closest challenger, Ted Cruz, whose ultraconservative
views would be expected to repel independent voters. But Democrats
should be thankful that John Kasich, who could have broad appeal, is
almost surely too moderate to win the nomination of a Republican Party
dragged to the far-right fringe by its angry base.
Given the circumstances, Democrats are
allowing themselves to dream of a historic sweep in which they retake
the Senate and even threaten the GOP’s huge majority in the House.
That average point of view can be summarized as: Clinton will be the
Democrat's presidential candidate; Trump the Republican one; Clinton
will beat Trump (easily); and the Democrats will take the Senate and
possibly the House as well.
I say. I don't know whether this is true, and neither does Eugene
Robinson, but I grant the picture he drew is probabilistically
plausible (aka: "more probable than not").
As to the Democratic contest between Sanders and Clinton, there is this:
By any objective measure, Clinton
is far ahead. She has won in 18 states, compared to Sanders’ 14. More
people have voted for her than for any other candidate, including
Trump—far more than have voted for Sanders, since most of her victories
have been in primaries while most of his have come in caucuses. More
important, she has such a big lead in convention delegates that it is
mathematically improbable, though not yet impossible, for Sanders to
As before, I think this is a somewhat colored
presentation, but it is on the probable side.
Finally, I selected this:
But look at the bigger picture: It’s
April and Clinton has not managed to put away a 74-year-old avowed
socialist who wasn’t even a Democrat until he began his campaign. Why
is that not worrisome?
Clinton’s disapproval rating is
consistently higher than her approval—an average of 55 percent to 40
percent, according to Huffpost Pollster. (This would be seen as a
crisis if Trump’s disapproval were not even higher.) Substantial
numbers of voters say they do not trust her.
In isolation, let’s face it, she looks
beatable in the fall. Fortunately for her, the Republican Party doesn’t
look capable of beating anybody. But I wouldn’t want to bet
everything on GOP dysfunction.
Again, I take it this is the average point
of view. It is again a bit plausible, but the quoted piece really forgets
that a win of the Republican Party in November is quite
possible if it can be somehow arranged that there is a big
attack of Isis on the USA a month or so before the elections.
Anyway - this article probably gave the
average point of view. I don't quite agree with it but it is here because
it seems to give the average point of view,
and indeed it has probability on its side.
2. Donald Trump Is Dangerous to Women
is by Kali Halloway on AlterNet:
starts as follows, and is rather different from the previous article,
and continues an article on the same topic by the same writer from yesterday:
There is perhaps no one in recent
American political history who has outdone expectations as drastically
as Donald Trump.
I do not mean this as a compliment. What
I mean is that even as we have come to expect Donald Trump to say and
be the absolute worst—to burrow beneath what previously seemed to be
the garbage-strewn bottom—he continues to unashamedly dive to once
unthinkable depths, outdistancing even the scavengers and
bottom-feeders who preceded him.
I think Kali Holloway is quite angry. I
also think she has the right to be angry, although there are -
I am pretty certain - worse people in the USA than Donald Trump. But
then these are not billionaires out to grab the position of the
most powerful man on earth with bullshit and lies.
Here is some more:
This is a man who has built his
political—and if we go back even further, his public—brand on
sexualizing, degrading, insulting and vocally and enthusiastically
hating women. He makes jokes about newswomen being on their periods,
about a fellow candidate’s wife being ugly. He has said countless
terrible things about many, many prominent women. And in kind, his
supporters dedicate time at rallies to violently shoving teenage
girls, to allegedly groping and macing
them in the face. Even his campaign manager
allegedly physically attacked a reporter for doing her job.
Incidentally, Kali Holloway only
mentions women in the above quotation. She has a right to do so, and a
right to be angry, and I may point out that there is
a lot more that Trump said that shows he is unfit to be
Here is the last bit I will quote from this article:
Donald Trump stopped being funny a long
time ago, but the Woman Hater’s Club he’s built will, I’m certain, find
all new ways to be horrible. Be outraged, be angry, make fun of Trump’s
supporters, but know that won’t stop him. We’re long past that point.
Don’t just stand on the sidelines and ridicule him. Trump’s medieval
America is too dangerous and backward just to watch happen.
Actually, I am not certain what it
is that Kali Holloway recommends others to do (beyond: Stand on the
frontlines!). And Donald Trump has restated his position on
women and abortion. And - somewhat strictly speaking - "medieval
America" was owned by the Indians.
But I think Kali Holloway has the right to be angry with Donald Trump,
and indeed Trump is unfit to be president. And there is more on Trump's
chances to win the presidency in item 6.
3. Court Explains Why
Cops Cannot Use Cell Phones 'As Real-Time Tracking Devices'
The third item is by Nadia Prupis on Common
This starts as follows - and is good
The Maryland Special Court of Appeals,
the state's second-highest court, on Wednesday issued a landmark
opinion explaining an earlier ruling that police must obtain search
warrants before using the controversial cell phone surveillance devices
known as Stingrays.
"This is the first appellate opinion in
the country to fully address the question of whether police must
disclose their intent to use a cell site simulator to a judge and
obtain a probable cause warrant," Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff
attorney with the ACLU's Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology, told
Wednesday's opinion explains in detail
why the court upheld a lower court ruling earlier
this month, which rebuked the Baltimore Police Department for
secretly using a cell site simulator to track down a murder suspect.
Officers obtained a pen register, which required a lower standard of
probable cause to collect phone data than a warrant, then deployed an
advanced version of the Stingray known as a "Hailstorm," without
informing the judge.
Last April, a Baltimore detective also
revealed that the police department used the device more than 4,300
Incidentally, this means that the
Baltimore police used "the device" about every day, on average,
Here is the position of the appellate
"We conclude that people have a
reasonable expectation that their cell phones will not be used as
real-time tracking devices by law enforcement, and—recognizing that the
Fourth Amendment protects people and not simply areas—that people have
an objectively reasonable expectation and privacy in real-time cell
phone location information," the panel wrote on Wednesday.
Quite so! And I really like the explicit
appeal to the Fourth
Amendment. Also, there is this:
Of course! No one is "voluntarily"
sharing where they are with "law enforcement" - and to say they
do is using the word "voluntarily" as if it
In its opinion, the court rejected the
state's argument that anyone turning on a cell phone was "voluntarily"
sharing their location with law enforcement.
means "involuntarily", for until a brief while ago none
of these spyings
were admitted (while they happened almost every day), and no
one who is spied upon knows he is spied upon or knows who
are the spies or knows
what the spies are out to get.
Anyway... some courts are good, is the brief moral I
4. Bernie Sanders Has an Interesting Theory About Why the
Republican Party Exists
The fourth item is by Tim Murphy on Mother Jones:
This is a quote from Bernie Sanders, near
the beginning of the article:
I think if we had a media in this
country that was really prepared to look at what the Republicans
actually stood for rather than quoting every absurd remark of Donald
Trump, talking about Republican Party, talking about hundreds of
billions of dollars in tax breaks for the top two tenths of 1 percent,
cuts to Social Security and Medicare, Medicaid, a party which with few
exceptions doesn't even acknowledge the reality of climate change, let
alone do anything about it, a party which is not prepared to stand with
women in the fight for pay equity, a party that is not prepared to do
anything about a broken criminal justice system or a corrupt campaign
finance system, I think, to be honest with you—and I just don't, you
know, say this rhetorically, this is a fringe party. It is a fringe
party. Maybe they get 5, 10 percent of the vote.
I think - as a philosopher who spent 50
years reading mathematical logic - that this is a very
reasonable quote, for what it says is that if the media in the
USA would have done what they are for - finding the
relevant facts, and presenting them more or less objectively, that is,
with little or no bias - then the Republican Party would be a
lot smaller than it is.
But Tim Murphy does not think so, or so it seems. What he
says is this:
A corporate media that obsesses over the
issues Sanders obsesses over would certainly have some impact on the
political landscape. But Sanders' dismissal of the Republican base
seems to miss a far more obvious takeaway. People vote for Republicans
not because they've been brainwashed, but because they actually like
what Republicans like Trump are proposing.
First of all, Sanders does not
obsess, although he would be justified if he were, for the dishonesty,
partiality, and moral degeneracy of large parts of both
the main media and the Republican Party are quite obvious, and were
also - in part, of course - listed by Sanders in the quote Murphy
Second, Murphy cannot reason logically (or
he does not want to reason - I don't know): Sanders did not
dismiss "the Republican base": he explained why they are as
large as they are. And he did so by pointing out what very many
others have also pointed out: The Republicans lie a whole lot,
which is giving false information, and the Republicans do not
say a lot of what is relevant for taking rational positions
on their policies.
Third, Murphy also does not seem
to know what brainwashing is: To lie and to refuse to
give lots of data that are relevant to making rational
judgements about Republican proposals is brainwashing (there
are other kinds of brain- washing, but this is a very normal
one, and not only in the USA).
Fourth, whether or not people are
brainwashed (and I think many of the "poorly educated" so tenderly
loved by Trump are being brainwashed, simply by lying to them, and by
not telling them what they should know if
they are to judge rationally), Sanders' point was not that
Republicans do not like Trump (obviously many do; and obviously - I
would say - many are being deceived, and
intentionally so) - he explained why there are so many: Because
of the lies and
ommissions by the Republican Party and in the mainstream media.
Ah well... I think all of the above is obvious, which
also means that I will not
read Tim Murphy anymore: Either he lies or he is very stupid. (This is
the same as with some of the leading journalists of The Guardian, and
my judgement is also the same: You are too dishonest or too dumb to
read. Bye, bye!)
5. Corporate Debt Defaults Explode
To Catastrophic Levels Not Seen Since The Last Financial Crisis
The fifth item is by Michael Snyder on
Washington's Blog, and originally on the Economic Collapse Blog:
This starts as follows:
If a new financial crisis had already
begun, we would expect to see corporate debt defaults skyrocket, and
that is precisely what is happening. As you will see below,
corporate defaults are currently at the highest level that we have seen
since 2009. A wave of bankruptcies is sweeping the energy
industry, but it isn’t just the energy industry that is in
trouble. In fact, the average credit rating for U.S. corporations
is now lower than it was at any point during the last
recession. This is yet another sign that we are in the early
chapters of a major league economic crisis.
I say. Also, I do not know whether
these facts imply what they are stated to imply ("we
are in the early chapters of a major league economic crisis").
Then again, part of the reason this article is here is that I strongly
believe the Western world is in an economic crisis since 2009, and I
have so far seen no reason to change that belief. 
Here is some more on the supposed new
crisis (bolding in the original):
While many were looking forward to the
weekend in last week’s holiday-shortened week for some overdue
downtime, the CEOs of five, mostly energy, companies had nothing but
bad news for their employees and shareholders: they had no choice but
to throw in the towel and file for bankruptcy.
And, as Bloomberg reports, with last week’s
five defaults, the 2016 to date total is now 31, the highest
since 2009 when there were 42 company defaults, according to Standard
I do not know how important the 31 recent
bankruptcies were. But if the numbers are correct, this is a
reason to take this serious, for all of 2009
was bad, whereas 2016 is only past for 1/4th.
Here is a summary:
We are in the terminal phase of
the greatest debt bubble the world has ever experienced. For
decades, the United States has been running up government debt,
corporate debt and consumer debt. Our trade deficits have been
bigger than anything the world has ever seen before, and our massively
inflated standard of living was funded by an ever increasing pile of
I don't know whether we are "in the terminal phase", but the
article is right that there never has been as many and
as much debts as there are now.
6. All the numbers spell disaster for Trump
The sixth and last item today consists of two
articles, both with the same theme, that is well announced by the title
of the first:
This starts as follows, and is here to
give some perspective on Trump and his chances to become the next US
That seems reasonable. And here is
Donald Trump’s dominance has obscured
just how unpopular he is outside of the conservative bubble. Even among
Republican voters, if you dig a little deeper, you find that Trump has
serious problems. Nate Silver elaborates: “Trump has consistently had the
plurality of Republican support in polls, but those same polls suggest
that Trump faces unusually high resistance from voters who don’t have
him as their first choice…Many of them would be unhappy with a Trump
nomination, more than is typical for a polling front-runner.”
In short, Trump is extremely popular with
his base, but deeply disliked by everyone else.
It’s worse if you extend the analysis to
include the broader electorate. As The Washington Post reports, “If Donald Trump secures the Republican
presidential nomination, he would start the general election campaign
as the least-popular candidate to represent either party in modern
times…Three-quarters of women view him unfavorably. So do nearly
two-thirds of independents, 80 percent of young adults, 85 percent of
Hispanics and nearly half of Republicans and Republican-leaning
These are daunting numbers. There is no
discernible path to the White House for Trump against this kind of
resistance. In the 32 years the Washington Post-ABC News survey has
been tracking candidates, no major-party nominee has produced
unfavorability scores like this.
I tend to agree, except for one
possibility, that is not considered in this article: What if there is another
9/11 (or another major attack with quite a few killed) between
now and the presidential elections?
And here is the other article I selected,
this time by Ariel Edwards-Levy on The Huffington Post:
This starts as follows
Donald Trump credit: his candidacy may be unifying the country over
dislike for him.
point, it might be easier to run down the list of demographic blocs
Trump hasn't alienated. He's disliked by Democrats and independents, by young voters, and by minorities, not to mention even the female voters in his own party.
wins the GOP nomination, Trump wouldn't be the first nominee to enter a
general election with negative ratings. He would, however,
be the least popular major party nominee in modern times.
The only recent candidate with comparably low ratings is former KKK leader David Duke, who
unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination in 1992.
There is more in the article, but one
reason to list the article is the "Editor's note" at the end, which is
I say. Then again, it also is true. And
Donald Trump is unfit to be president.
Editor's note: Donald Trump
regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist,
misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all
Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering
Indeed this - "Donald
Trump: Unfit to be president"
- may be a line some media might present to the public, and if so, they
are correct, at least in this psychologist's opinions: Donald Trump is
temperamentally, intellectually and morally not fit to be president of
Indeed, Bill Maher seems to have arrived at a similar conclusion: If
the Republican choice is between Trump and Cruz, he chooses Cruz, whom
he has earlier described as "more dangerous than Trump", presumably
because Cruz is
less temperamental (I am formulating this carefully) than Trump, and
Maher thinks absolutely anything may happen with Trump as president.
 Also, part of the reason we are now for
the eighth successive year in crisis (that is:
the very rich, for the very rich get richer and richer) are (1) the
extremely criminal and fraudulent ways in which the banks were bailed
out, and (2) the decision to insist on "austerity" instead of investing
in the economy.
It is quite possible (but no one will ever know) that
crisis by now would have been safely past if the banks had not been
bailed out and there would have been major investments in the economy.