1. Is Hillary Clinton Stealing the Nomination? Will Bernie
Sanders Spawn a Long-Term
2. Donald Trump, the Emperor of Social Media
3. Tuesday Night Massacre: The Looming Trump v. Clinton
4. A reply to Chris
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, May 1,
crisis blog. It is a sunday, and there weren't that many crisis files.
give the four I found that I want to review, which - as it happens -
are all about Trump and Clinton. At least these allow me to clarify my
views on both.
Is Hillary Clinton Stealing the Nomination? Will Bernie Sanders Spawn a
There are 4 items with 4
dotted links: Item 1 is about Sanders and the
possibi- lity that the
American elections will be determined by fraud: I think the chance is
real, but can probably not be decided; item 2 is
about Trump as master
of social media, and seems well-intentioned but a bit mistaken; item 3
is about the horrors some feel when contemplating presidential
elections between Clinton and Trump (and this is a good article); and item 4 is about why the non-stupid non-fanatics will
vote for Clinton
rather than for a candidate who probably is a whole lot better,
but who cannot win: Because the Republicans are dangers to
first item is by
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman on Truthdig and originally on Reader
This starts as
At this delicate moment in the primary
season, we all need to take a deep breath and evaluate what comes next.
Bernie Sanders has a mathematical chance
to win. But Hillary seems the likely Democratic nominee.
Donald Trump has an army of delegates.
But if he doesn’t win on the first ballot, Paul Ryan could be the
Key is the stripping of our voter rolls. Millions of Democrats have
already been disenfranchised. In a close race, that could make the
Also key is the flipping of the
electronic vote count, which few on the left seem to be willing to face
in all its depressing finality.
In fact, I have now several times written
about articles by Fitrakis and Wasserman, namely here and here,
and it was both times about the possibility that the American elections
may be stolen.
The present article is in part the same,
and is in part about the Greennes of Fitrakis and Wasserman. I think
they are partially mistaken and rather idealistic, but
I do take their
As Greens, we believe this
critical imperative is that Bernie convert the HUGE upwelling of mostly
young grassroots discontent he has ignited into a long-term multi-issue
movement. His success won’t be measured by whether he wins the
nomination or presidency.
I didn't know Fitrakis and Wasserman are
Greens. I am not (I am merely a radical leftist social liberal
with strong environmental interests and little
environmental hope until
things really turn bad, like a flooding of New York)
and also being "Green" in the USA differs considerably form being
"Green" in Europe, but I don't hold this against them.
Then again, I must admit (as I also explained yesterday,
I do not expect much from a leftist movement that is led by
Sanders if he has not won the presidential candidacy.
You may think I am too pessimistic,
which I admit I am (pessimistic, that is), but then I have
nearly 66 years of mostly disappointing political outcomes
point of view) and Bernie Sanders also is 74, while the electorate that
is willing to vote for him has rather large differences in
policies, orientations and political assumptions. (I hope I am mistaken,
but this is what I think.)
Then there is this on the American voting procedures:
Along the way there’s the collapse of
our electoral system. From Jimmy Carter to Harvard to the UN and so
many others who’ve studied it, it’s patently obvious the mechanisms by
which we conduct elections in this country are ridiculously decrepit
As a partial solution, we’ve concocted
the “Ohio Plan,” which demands: universal automatic voter registration
at age 18; a four-day national holiday for voting; voter ID based on a
signature that matches the registration form with stiff felony
penalties for cheating; universal hand-counted paper ballots.
We also want money out of politics,
public-funded campaigns, an end to gerrymandering, and abolition of the
I agree on the diagnosis of the American
electoral system (and am - by far - not the only one to do so, as is
As to the "Ohio Plan": I agree in principle, but I insist that these
principles, as things stand now, certainly will not be
followed in the coming elections, and are therefore mostly idealistic
solutions that may work but will not be practised now, and that
also require considerable political changes to be practised eventually,
Then there is this on electronic voter fraud (with more here and here):
But the electronic flipping of the
alleged vote count remains a demon black box. The 2000 election was
turned from Gore to Bush by electronic manipulations in Volusia County,
Florida. The 2004 election was turned from Kerry to Bush in a
Chattanooga basement which transformed a 4.2% Democratic lead into a
2.5% GOP victory in 90 dark minutes.
All that could happen again in 2016.
As I have said before: I do not
enough about their examples to confidently pronounce on them, but I do
know more than enough of programming (I know at least 6 languages
fairly to very well) to know that
what they say is quite possible.
They have a longer discussion of their
ideas, and meet some criticisms. I merely select this from the
The bottom line is this: there
is no viable method for monitoring or verifying the electronic vote
count in 2016. In a close race, which we expect this
fall, the outcome could be flipped in key swing states where GOP
governors and secretaries of state are running the elections. This
includes most notably Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and Arizona, plus North
Carolina and Florida (where the situations are slightly different).
Steve has called this “a stretch.” He
and Josh seem to dismiss the assertion that an election can be
electronically stolen as “conspiracy theory,” apparently based on the
idea that such thefts would become obvious fodder for an
infuriated media and public outrage.
I agree with the first paragraph:
Yes, that is entirely possible, and yes that could be done with
a few lines of programming code in a small program, that also can
be completely deleted after being used. And no, they are quite right
is no viable method for monitoring or verifying the electronic vote
count in 2016".
And I do not know about the probability that this may happen,
completely disagree with people who deny the possibility on the basis
of the - troll
like - argument that this is "a conspiracy theory": No,
it is not, for they are right it
can be done, and can be done easily, and also
that you do not need a lot of
evidence about dark and uncertain things to know this: all you need is
So overall I think it is quite possible that the coming
presidential elections may be stolen, and if so, it is quite
unlikely to be found out. And I do not know enough to
pronounce confidently on the possibility with any rational probability.
2. Donald Trump, the Emperor of Social Media
The second item is by Neal Gabler on Common Dreams and originally
This starts as follows:
By now I must be at least the millionth
commentator to observe that Donald Trump is the candidate for whom
social media have longed. What FDR was to radio and JFK to television,
Trump is to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, et al.
This is usually taken to mean that
Trump, like some political McLuhan, is a mastermind who understands
social media the way his forebears understood their media. But I
suspect that with him, it may be less a matter of his brilliance or
even his intuition than of the accidental match of personality with
As to "social media" (that are better
called: asocial media, but OK):
It so happens that I have a computer since
1987 and internet since 1996 but I detest "Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, et al.",
and for a very simple reason: I am too intelligent for these programs
for people who are too dumb or too lazy to write their own sites, or to
utter upon anything in more than 2 or 3 sentences. Also, I am a
intellectual, and I simply don't fit in with most of the normal
users of these services, who are in great majority not real
Incidentally, not everyone on
Twitter or Facebook is unintelligent, but Twitter only allows slogans
and allows trolls, and is therefore totally out for me, while
Facebook is a data-miner, which I detest very much as extremely
dishonest, and is therefore also completely out for me.
As to Trump: He is definitely neither a
mastermind nor brilliant, and anyone who thinks so must be rather stupid, at
least. And Neal Gabler is right that his present success is
mostly accidental, and would have been right if he added that Trump
profits a lot from many stupid and ignorant
There is this on Trump:
(...) Trump is the
“decontexualizer-in-chief” operating in a medium that likewise is about cutting the world
into bits that don’t necessarily accrete into anything sensical.
Books have been written about the impact
of social media on our electoral process, and decontextualization
usually isn’t high on the list of transformations, in part because
fragmentation isn’t usually high on the list of properties that inhere
to social media. Those properties, as I see them, are instantaneity,
anonymity, democratization, authenticity and yes, fragmentation, and
they lead, in their various ways, to a variety of consequences.
Yes and no. First, Trump is fairly
(by my academic criterions ) and indeed he
"decontextualizes", so to
speak, though I don't like that term.
First then, what is "rational
contextualization"? It is the provision of possible rational explanations,
and rational evidence
to try to -
possibly - account for the facts one saw or assumes. Those who can
do this best
are as a rule scientists, with degrees and a finished academic
who also know that few things are definitely and forever
about most things alternative eplanations are possible, but in
principle anybody who is fairly intelligent
can contribute - and mind
you, I inserted the "rational" to exclude other types of
And second, I don't think Trump is
It is true he presents almost anything without any rational
explanations, and as if his prejudgments are THE truth, but
then he is allowed to do so by an enormous
group of people who may vote, but who have few rational ideas, and
don't know enough about science or most other things to be able to
distinguish confidentially which ideas and values make rational sense,
and which do not. And in fact it is
these large groups of dumboes - sorry, that is what you are,
not necessarily because you are dumb but because you are ignorant and
strongly moved by wishful
that will elect Trump, if that happens, and that therefore are quite
Third, as to "decontextualizing", " instantaneity",
"anonymity", "democrati- zation", "authenticity" and "fragmentation".
To start with, I dislike these long latinate metaphors,
that for me connotes an audience of doctors of sociology insisting on
metaphors with long, unclear, latinate, metaphorical names.
Here are my alternatives: "stupidity", "no waiting", "no real names",
"forced equality", "lying" and "stupidity" again, for the above list of
My reasons are that both "decontextualizing" and "fragmentation"
are long names for consequences of simple stupidity;
"democratization" on the internet
tends to be based on the totalitarian
demand that everybody is equal, which is
just a stinking lie
that serves the large majority of the stupid and the ignorant;
and all "authenticity" by trolls is merely sick, sadistic scolding (and
beyond that there is extremely little on the internet that is
authentic in any real sense, in
part because everything is calculated and nothing is
spontaneous as in a real face-to-face meeting).
Then there is this:
We all know that social media can facilitate bullies and fortify the
weak and cowardly, which can be mistaken for the authenticity of
speaking your mind. Again, enter Donald Trump.
When you think of democratization on
social media, you think of that collective action I referenced above.
But social media – in fact, the Internet generally – have also
recalibrated our focus by democratizing information; not the access to
it, but the lack of discrimination among bits of information. The
Internet is a great disinformation machine where anyone can say
Yes and no: Yes, something like
this is the case, but not - in my opinion - quite as stated.
First, "social media" are not
social (you don't meet real people there: you only meet edited
pieces of text and edited pictures, all of
which are designed to evoke certain responses), and they are not
"authentic", especially not if anonymous, for then anyone can
scold or damn you without you knowing anything about who did it
but their alias.
Second, I do not speak of
on social media", for it appears to me much more stupification -
rule of the dumbest - on asocial media, that
hang together by sick over-the-top praise, and sick over-the-top
damnations, both done by stupid aliases who are too cowardly
and too cruel to give their real names.
Third, it is not so much the internet
which is the problem (there is a lot of more or less rational,
scientific and mathematical information on it), but
the enormous masses of completely stupid, totally unreasonable,
anonymous idiots, assholes, sadists, and nincompoops who are the
trouble, and who
will remain a major problem until their real names and
addresses can be
found, and not just in secret by the NSA. 
The article ends as follows:
Above all else, Donald Trump is the
candidate of impulse running against candidates of calculation. He is
the king of the one-liner, the insult, the proudly politically
incorrect slur. And that is a central reason why disaffected
Republicans have rallied to him. He is nothing but bites.
All of which makes Trump not just a more
outrageous and blustering candidate than the ones to whom we are
accustomed. It makes him an epistemologically different kind of
candidate – one who challenges the very basis of our politics. He
doesn’t have to make sense. He doesn’t have to provide a program or a
vision. All he needs are his zingers, so long as they are no more than
140-characters. Twitter can do that to you. And now we are getting a
taste of what it can do to our political discourse.
Again yes and no, but here mostly no:
Donald Trump, for all his badness, racism, stupidities, inanities,
cruelties, slurs and bullshit would not
bother anyone if only there were not tens of millions of
Americans who lack the brain capacity or lack the
education to see through his badness, racism,
stupidities, inanities, cruelties, slurs and bullshit.
The problem is not so much Trump,
although I agree he is bad and dangerous: the problem is the large
audience that admires him and that
even may elect him as president.
3. Tuesday Night Massacre: The Looming Trump v. Clinton
The third item is by
William Rivers Pitt on Truth-out
This starts as follows:
The surrealist painting that is this
election season came into grim focus last night as the two big-money
front-runners blew the doors off their respective rivals and came many
steps closer to giving the "news" media the general election race
they've been craving. Donald Trump won everything by margins so wide
you could sail an aircraft carrier through them. Hillary Clinton took
four out of five contests, with Bernie Sanders picking up Rhode Island.
It was near-comprehensive domination, and unless Trump bursts into
flames or Clinton starts eating live wombats during a press conference,
we're all staring the general election contest dead in the face.
I suppose so - at least, this is the most
probable course, although it isn't certain yet. Here is Pitt's
characterization of the two (probable) main presidential candidates:
You have the rich braggart with an
inferiority complex so large it dwarfs Saturn using racism, sexism,
nationalism and a generalized fear of The Other to elbow his way toward
the nomination. You have the rich political aristocrat who votes for
war, total surveillance and thinks fracking is the greatest thing since
glazed donuts trying to pass herself off as some sort of transformative
populist while cashing Wall Street checks by the fistful.
This also seems fair enough to me (though
I am willing to agree it has a fairly strong leftist color).
And this is about the Republicans and the
It is madness, but it is madness by
design. The Republican Party and its media allies have spent several
decades fomenting a sense of terror within their voting ranks -- fear
of the immigrant, fear of the Black man, fear of a woman's power to
choose, fear of the terrorist hiding under the bed. They have
diligently trashed the basic functions of government so they can go on
the Sunday talk shows and blather about how government doesn't work.
The Democrats, for their part, have been in full moral retreat over
those same decades, fleeing the legacy of FDR and their own alleged
principles to such a vast degree that a candidate who voted like a
conservative every time the chips were down is about to grab the brass
Again I agree, and I also insist both
processes of turning to the right and of defrauding voters (both
the Republicans and the Democrats) started in the early 1970ies,
went stronger and stronger all the time ever since, also
under nominal Democrats like Clinton and Obama.
Here is William Pitt's conclusion:
As a human being and a father, however,
I find the whole exercise appalling and terrifying. This is the best we
can do, really? This is what we have become. The only reason people
will vote for Trump in the general election is because they have been
trained to be afraid. The only reason people will vote for Clinton in
the general election is to thwart Comb-Over Mussolini and his dreams of
glory; once again, people will be voting against instead of voting for,
because "she can win," allegedly.
The whole thing has been bizarre and
gruesome from the jump, and the only good I can see coming out of it is
the slim possibility that the nation looks long and hard in the mirror
once the smoke has cleared and decides that enough is enough.
What a pluperfect mess.
I mostly agree, although I am not a father
(because I am ill since 1.1.1979, when I was 28): it really is
and frightening mess. And I wrote "mostly" because I believe there are
some who will choose for Trump or Clinton for other reasons
stated above, while I completely disbelieve in "the slim possibility that the nation looks long and hard in
the mirror": that is about as likely that Trump
will change character
aged 69 or 70, when he becomes president.
But basically I agree with William Pitt,
and his article is recommended.
4. A reply to Chris
so happens that of all intellectual subjects I have more or less
seriously read in (since I was 15, also, and these cover at least 14
subjects: see Real
The fourth item
is by Robert Paul Wolff on the Philosopher's Stone:
I know most about philosophy, because that was my first study
and my first interest until I was 38 and was removed
from the University of Amsterdam's faculty of philosophy briefly before
taking my M.A. there, because I was too intelligent, too honest,
and I believed in truth and in science while most in the UvA pretended
not to believe in
truth nor in science, at that time, and I also was not a marxist nor a quasi-marxist,
like those who removed me. 
Again, of philosophy
I know most of what is somewhat vaguely described
as "analytic philosophy", which few non-philosophers know much about,
tends to be (especially in the subjects I like) fairly technical. Then
again, I also
read most of the philosophical classics (unlike anyone I knew
while studying) and rather a great lot of various other related things,
mostly in various sciences.
I still follow philosophy (e.g. the Stanford Encyclopedia)
and philosophers (e.g. until he died 2 months ago Hilary Putnam)
but by now this is mostly intellectual
interest, and certainly not because I can make a career or gain
a reputation or convert anyone.
And here we arrived at Robert Paul
who is a philosopher in his early eighties, who says (I quote) "in
politics I am an anarchist, in religion I am an atheist, and in
economics I am a Marxist" and who still writes a
column that I somewhat like, mostly because I am an atheist and
of an anarchist (of sorts), though I am not a Marxist, and because
decently, is not stuffy, and sometimes has interesting ideas or
He is also still active as a philosopher, though that doesn't interest
me very much, because I have definitely had it with Marxism,
and he has not. But I am not interested in his philosophy here,
but only in his ideas about Clinton and Trump, whom he assumes,
correctly, will be the two most important
presidential candidates, and who (then) will be, the one or the other,
the next president of the U.S.A. (although all of this is only probable
at the moment, and not certain yet).
Here is the first thing from him that I quote:
I think it is very clear what
sort of President Clinton
would be. She has been a public figure
for decades, and there is really very little mystery about her beliefs,
administrative style, or her character.
The same cannot be said about Trump.
I believe him to be deeply psychologically unstable, as I have
indicated. (..) He is working hard to arouse, intensify,
and legitimate ugly, fascist tendencies in the population of which I am
genuinely frightened. Perhaps I am too powerfully
influenced by the world’s experiences in the 20th century,
but I am
not at all confident that America is safe from those dangerous
agree with all of that (and I don't see how one can fail
influenced "by the 20th century" given that the 21st century is barely
16 years old, and given the extreme amounts of man-made horrors
that plagued the
20th century, including two world wars).
Then there is this about what a Trump-presidency probably will bring:
Again I agree. Finally there is this:
Some things are more
if he is elected, then in all
likelihood he will have a Republican Senate as well as a Republican
House. That will mean a reactionary Supreme Court
for the next thirty years, in which case voting suppression, the repeal
rights, gerrymandering, and the complete triumph of corporate
capitalism in the
courts will be a certainty. Under those
circumstances, a progressive movement will be strangled in the cradle.
actually be less hawkish than Clinton? It is impossible to
say. He is so utterly ignorant of everything
having to do with foreign policy that he will be completely at the
mercy of his
advisors, and from the little evidence we have, those advisors do not
me with hope.
Under a Clinton
Administration, there will
be a chance, just a chance, of a progressive
movement in America, if Bernie chooses to lead the charge and
establishes an ongoing
organization to fight in local, state, and federal contests for the
truly progressive office holders. That, in
my judgment, is our best hope, our only hope, for real change in this
country. Will Clinton support such a
movement? Of course not. Will she undercut it? I do
not think so, since she will need its support
for her re-election.
Is it worth
taking a chance on Trump for the possibility of
a surprisingly progressive presidency? I
do not think so, and my reason is that I remain genuinely frightened of
emergence of real home-grown American style fascism.
Merely to indicate what I mean: I read now over 50 years in
intellectual - scientific, mathematical, logical, philosophical -
books; I am a B.A. in philosophy with an excellent degree and an M.A.
in psychology with an excellent degree (both As, which is - or was then
- very rare); I never had a TV; and I had an IQ over 150 when 28 (and
don't believe IQs are really good measures of intelligence). Besides I
was kicked from the university no less than four times, and studied all
the time while I was ill and the woman I lived with (IQ 142) was ill,
and neither of us was fit enough to follow any lectures.
You may disagree all you please with me, but if you cannot show similar
facts about yourself, I think it is fair to assume that you probably
are not as smart and as informed as I am.
In any case, I totally disbelieve in equality-of-all or
equivalence-of-all: Both are false and totalitarian
notions, that often seem to be based on the simple confusion of
(i) equality-of-all (an illusion) and (ii) equality-in-law (which is
 As to my and Trump's stupidity, see the
 I have been and indeed am a member of
several forums. The three in programming I follow are almost
People are clear, usually; they don't scold; quite a few are there with
their real names; and problems tend to be rapidly and politely solved.
And while I certainly don't think anyone there is a genius or
supremely intelligent, everybody who writes there regularly is
rational (as regards programming) and is
intelligent. (In one case I am over 15 years a member of a programming
forum, in the others for 8 or more years, and there is a lot of
internet traffic there, so this is good evidence.)
I have been, at one time, convinced to go on a forum for ordinary men
and women, but this extremely rapidly turned out to be a major
mistakes: Nearly all aliases; an average intelligence of around 100; extremely
silly often extremely irrational ideas; and a total refusal of most
people to even admit the idea that someone might be more
intelligent than others, or that a degree gives some evidence
of some knowledge and some intelligence.
I never liked ordinary men
(and women) much, but it was only there that I learned a majority of
them can behave very easily like a lot of sick and
cruel bastards - especially if anonymous, like nearly everyone
there - and are quite capable of lynching anyone who is not quite like
But I admit this was a mistake of mine, and I have long left that
forum: I should never have joined it.
 The main reason for my problems at the
University of Amsterdam (which were many) was that all Dutch
universities between 1971 and 1995 (which covers all the years I
studied) were totally unique in the whole world in being
effectively owned by the students:
They were by law ruled by parliaments, both for the
university and for each faculty, which were elected by the students, by
the people who worked as secretaries and cleaners, and ny the
professors and lecturers, where each person - student, cleaner,
professor - had 1 vote.
This meant that the students always had the absolute
majority, and it meant in the University of Amsterdam that the mainly communist
and then postmodern student party ASVA had the absolute
power in the university from 1971 till 1995 (when another
parliamentary law of the state finished it all, quite radically also).
What I saw - with communist parents, and communist grandparents, all
also proletarians, while I was one of the few with a genuine
proletarian background who studied, and one of the very few
with parents and grandparents in the real resistance against the Nazis
- was massive corruption, massive laziness, and very great
amounts of lies, pretensions, and corruptions.
But I was also one of the few who opened his mouth: Something
like 90% or 95% of the students loved the radical declines in
standards that happened all these years, simply because this made it very
easy to get an M.A. (One could get an M.A. in philosophy by taking part
in demonstrations or in squatting in the 1980ies, as I was told in the
2000s by two who did so), and therefore I was much
discriminated: I was pro truth, pro science
and not a Marxist
at the time most
students disbelieved there was any truth, held that science was mostly
a capitalist illusion, and considered themselves (falsely, nearly