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Nederlog

Oct 11, 2016

Crisis: Trump's Quote, On Economics, Trumpian Gutter, Clinton Leads, Trumpian Insanity
Sections                                                                                     crisis index
Introduction

1.
"When You're a Star…You Can Do Anything"
2. The Nobel Prize in Economics Is a Force for Market
     Fundamentalism

3. Trump Takes Second Presidential Debate Into the
     Gutter

4. Post-Lewd Tape Poll Shows Clinton With Double-Digit
     Lead Over Trump

5. The Age of Decline, Apple Pie, and America's Chosen
     Suicide Bomber
Introduction: 

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

A. This is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is a brief review which does list the precise Trumpian quote ("Grab ’em by the pussy") in context; item 2 is - in fact - about economics, and I list ten points on that "science" (in part to lift the level of the present Nederlog, but I mean everything I say, and what I say seems rather important, for economics); item 3 is about a somewhat decent review of the latest Trumpian bullshit; item 4 is about the poll numbers: it seems Hillary Clinton now has a firm lead; and item 5 is just one quote that has the benefit of nicely summing up reasons why I think the diagnosis of Trump is that he is insane (mad, crazy).

Also, there is an earlier file of today:
Autobio 1993: Een andere betere woning + Elise
This is my autobiography (in Dutch, mostly) about 1993. This wasn't published before.


-- Constant part, for the moment --

B. In case you visit my Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need to click/reload twice or more to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for me, but it is possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my computer.

In any case, I am now (again) updating the opening of my site with the last day it was updated. (And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times to see the last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. [1]

C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working.

I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that also went well for 20 or for 12 years.

I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!) in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that for many months now.

---


1. "When You're a Star…You Can Do Anything"

The first item today is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:

Sunday’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump capped an extraordinary weekend that saw top Republicans call on Trump to end his presidential run following the release of a videotape showing Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women. The three-minute video, recorded by NBC’s "Access Hollywood" in 2005, was released Friday by The Washington Post.

Next, in the original there is a rather long quotation of the video, which you can check out in full using the above dotted link, but I will only quote the relevant bit to show what Trump did say:

DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, that’s her, with the gold. I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

BILLY BUSH: Whatever you want.

DONALD TRUMP: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.


The graphic is not by Trump, but it shows the moral and intellectual level of the presidential candidate, who in my psychologist's opinion speaks like that because he is insane (mad, crazy). In case you doubt this, check out item 5, with lots more Trumpian quotes.

Here is Amy Goodman's comment on the above (which is a lot longer in the original):

AMY GOODMAN: Video footage of Donald Trump from 2005. Trump is now facing a growing number of calls to step down as the Republican Party’s nominee. At least 15 Republican senators, including former Republican presidential nominee John McCain, are now openly opposing Trump’s candidacy. The highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress condemned Trump’s comments. Congressmember Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state said, quote, "It is never appropriate to condone unwanted sexual advances or violence against women. Mr. Trump must realize that it has no place in public or private conversations," she wrote. Donald Trump has rejected calls to step down. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, said Saturday, quote, "We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night," unquote.

There is a lot more in the original, which is recommended.

2. The Nobel Prize in Economics Is a Force for Market Fundamentalism

The second item is by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The Nobel Prize in economics, being announced Monday, dignifies those who advocate ceding to private interests the public’s power to ensure the common welfare and legitimizes the destruction their policies create, writes Avner Offer, economics historian at Oxford and co-author of “The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy and the Market Turn,” at The Guardian.
I say, but not really. First, economics is not a real science: If it were, there would have been far more economists who predicted the 2008 collapse than there were. Second, economics is not a real science: If it were, there would be considerably more consistency in identifying (at least) the factors and the models to analyse economics, which in fact is divided into pools of wide disagreements between supposed "scientists". Third, economics is not a real science: If it were, there would be far less propaganda, far less bullshit, far fewer lies, and far fewer deceptions by the very men that economists tout as "scientists of economics".

And I do know that economy is not a real science, because I have been reading economy and economists for over 50 years now - and I grant, as I do in the case of psychology, that not everything is baloney, and that there are a few who mostly seem to speak sense. But they are in a small minority; they are not popular; most of the good ones (whether economists or psychologists) are not well-known; and - again - their supposed sciences are not real sciences, even if there are a few who think and experiment like real scientists. [2]

Here is some more:

Like market liberalism, [orthodox] economics regards buying and selling in markets as the template for human relations and claims that market choices scale up to the social good. But the doctrines of economics are not well founded: premises are unrealistic, models inconsistent, predictions often wrong. The halo of the prize has lent credibility to policies that harm society, to inequality and financial disorder.

Economics does not have the field of policy entirely to itself. A different view of the world – social democracy – is used by governments to allocate about 30% of GDP in most developed countries for employment, healthcare, education, and pensions. Social democracy is not only a political orientation but also a bipartisan method of government. Like economics, it accepts the primacy of markets in production and consumption. Markets reward wealth and success. In social democracy, entitlement is equal, and arises from citizenship, though one-size-fits-all sometimes creates its own problems.

The Nobel prize came out of a longstanding social conflict. On one side, central banks and the better-off striving to keep property intact and prices stable; on the other, everyone else’s quest for economic security.
I say, but again not really. Here are some points on the above quotation. I start with the first paragraph:

First, I am not a "market liberal": I believe neither in "markets" (which also is a very vague term, but let that be), nor does my ethical and political liberalism extend to the fake "liberalism" that makes economists praise rich men who take all the profits they want and can get, and who insist that this - profit taking - is the only moral or ethical norm CEOs have to fullfil (as Milton Friedman has said). This is utter trash, from an ethical point of view.

Second, those who favor "markets" ("Free Markets!", "Freedom!", "Liberalism!") are either frauds or fools who insist that the rich ought to be free to extract as much profit as they can from the non-rich, and who speak almost nothing but propaganda masked as "science".

Third, I agree that economists' "
premises are unrealistic" their "models inconsistent" and their "predictions often wrong."

Fourth, what the pretended "scientists" who are economists rarely see (for they drown this fact in their pretense that they are being real scientists) is that every society is based on an ethical, moral [3] and ideological set of presumptions - which are not "scientific", them- selves, but which are, in the end, ethical. (But nearly all economists pretend they are scientists, who do not - and should not! - have to do anything with matters of value.)

I turn to the second paragraph (and could have said more):

Fifth, the opposition between "social democracy" and "economics" is utter trash, that only valueless pretenders that economics is a real science pretend to: What is here called "social democracy" in economics is perfectly good economics (which is not a real science) which goes back to Owen, Ricardo and Marx in the first half of the 19th century.


Sixth, it may be these economists (of which there have been many, indeed also with quite a few different theories) are called "social democrats" by fake economical "scientists", but if so, the reason must be that they do allow for ethical and moral positions in economics - which is wholly correct in principle, simply because every society is based
on an ethical, moral [3] and ideological set of presumptions.

Seventh, "social democracy" is not just "
a political orientation" nor just "a bipartisan method of government": There are many economists who are social democrats (in some sense, that may vary a lot), and who do not agree that they are politicians.

Eight, "social democrats" (including the economists) do not necessarily accept "
the primacy of markets in production and consumption": In fact, leftist economists (who - it seems - are here falsely styled "social democrats") may be quite against the dominance of "markets" and "profits", and are certainly more aware than their rightist opponents that the economy - like all things human - is based in part on ethical assumptions of value (that cannot be reduced to "science", nor be explained away as "unscientific").

Ninth,
"social democrats" (including the economists) tend to not accept vagueries like "entitlement is equal", because there simply is no equality whatsoever in either riches or power between the rich few and non-rich many: To insist that "entitlement is equal" is to insist on a lie.

I end with the third paragraph and just one point:

Tenth, the Nobel Prize for economy arose out of the conflict between leftist and rightist economists, in which the rightists insisted that their values and choices (for profit, for the rich, against the poor, against fair sharing) are "science", while the leftist values and choices (against profits as an ethical or moral choice, for the non-rich, against the rich, for fair sharing) are not "science": This was utter trash, but it won the day and most of the battles, presumably because a "science" like economics tends to side with the sides who have the riches and the power.

And this is not a recommended article (it is mostly baloney), while I threw out my ten remarks to - very briefly - explain my own view of economics.

3. Trump Takes Second Presidential Debate Into the Gutter

The third item is by Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet:

This starts as follows, and is here because this seems a reasonable description of the debate (which I did not see and will not see because I have better uses for my time):

Donald Trump threw everything nasty and vulgar he had at Hillary Clinton during 2016’s second presidential debate, in an effort to salvage his sinking campaign after a video was released Friday of him bragging about sexually assaulting women.

At the debate, Trump repeatedly brushed off the taped comments as regrettable “locker-room talk" that didn’t actually happen. He went on to accuse Clinton of being the serial liar, threatened to jail her over her use of a private e-mail server as Secretary of State, brought up Bill Clinton’s supposed sexual assaults as a counterpoint to his own randiness, and stalked Clinton on the town hall debate’s circular stage, shadowing her as she spoke to the audience, interrupting and calling the moderators biased.
Let me say once again that Trump behaves and talks like that because he is mad (insane, crazy) (and I am a psychologist).

Here is a sum-up of the debate:

But more than anything, the second debate was a bizarre drama in three acts that is not likely to change the dynamics of the race or attract new multitudes to Trump. The first third featured one of the sleaziest attacks by a presidential candidate on a competitor in decades, as Trump went after Clinton in an almost unhinged fashion by raising Bill Clinton’s “abusive” treatment of women. The middle section featured Trump assailing Clinton as a serial liar and even getting into an argument with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, one of two moderators who tried to grill Trump on what specifically he would do in Syria. Clinton replied that he lived in an alternative universe; she gave prescriptions on specific issues, from responding to the Russia-Syria alliance to fixing rising Obamacare costs. The final section saw Trump continually butting in with the last word and saying that Clinton had “tremendous hate in her heart," while Clinton, in contrast, tried to answer the audience’s questions before returning to the big picture.  

There is a lot more in the original, which is recommended.

4.
Post-Lewd Tape Poll Shows Clinton With Double-Digit Lead Over Trump

The fourth item today is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows and is here mostly because of the poll numbers:

A new poll conducted before the second presidential debate of 2016—but after the release of a tape in which Donald Trump bragged that his celebrity status allowed him to grope women without their consent—shows Hillary Clinton with a double-digit lead over her Republican rival.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that in a four-way match-up including Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, Clinton has an 11-point lead among likely voters over Trump—46 percent to 35 percent. Johnson had nine percent and Stein 2 percent.

In the same poll conducted in September, Clinton had a 6-point lead over Trump—43 percent to 37 percent.

Presented with a two-way match-up, Clinton has a 14-point lead over Trump, with the former secretary of state receiving 52 percent to Trump's 38 percent.

I say. This opens a somewhat fair perspective that indeed Clinton will win the presidency, which I very strongly hope she does, and not because she is any good (she isn't) but because she is not insane (mad, crazy) like Trump is.

Incidentally: I think Gary Johnson is an utter fool (he doesn't even know what "Aleppo" means, for one example), but even so he still has more than four times as many votes (9 percent) as does Jill Stein (2 percent). And while I think Jill Stein has a far better program than Johnson (and Clinton and Trump), I do not think she is fit for the presidency, and I am certain she will not win it. (She isn't fit because she isn't a good talker.)

Then there is this about Trump's "lewd comments":

Asked about the lewd comments during Sunday's presidential debate, Trump said he was "very embarrassed" but defended himself by saying, "it's locker room talk."

But it isn't, according to some current and former professional athletes. Jacob Tamme, a tight end for the Atlanta Falcons, for example, tweeted, "Please stop saying 'locker room talk,'" and, "It's not normal. And even if it were normal, it's not right." He added Monday: "The attempt to normalize it as any type of 'talk' is wrong. I refuse to let my son think that this is 'just how men speak.'"

The poll showed that 67 percent of Republican voters say that, in light of the lewd comments, GOP candidates for Congress should still back Trump as their party's candidate; only 9 percent said they should withdraw their support.

Speaking about the fallout on MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes" on Friday, conservative talk-radio host Charlie Sykes said, "I don't know how any politician stands next to him and justifies in any way saying, 'Okay, yes. The man is talking about sexually assaulting women, groping women, but we should still make him the president of the United States."

I have three remarks on the above:

First, I doubt Jacob Tamme is correct. I don't know, because I have heard very little "locker room talk", and what I heard is very old, but I know how many men talk about women, and that tends to be crude and not sympathetic, especially between males only.

Second, regardless of "locker room talk", the real point is not about what "men" may say in locker rooms: the real point is that the actual man who defends his talk of grabbing women by their vulvas - "
And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. (...) Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything." - is the man who wants to be president of the USA.

Third, I should also say that I do not consider "9 percent" of previous Trump-voters who revised their judgement on voting for Trump small or negligible.

But this is a recommended article.

5.
The Age of Decline, Apple Pie, and America's Chosen Suicide Bomber

The fifth and last item today is by Tom Engelhardt on Tomdispatch:

This starts as follows and is here because it gives a good summary of quite a few Trumpian remarks:
From the moment the first scribe etched a paean of praise to Nebuchadnezzar into a stone tablet, it’s reasonable to conclude that never in history has the media covered a single human being as it has Donald Trump. For more than a year now, unless a terror attack roiled American life, he’s been the news cycle, essentially the only one, morning, noon, and night, day after day, week after week, month after month. His every word, phrase, move, insult, passing comment, off-the-cuff remark, claim, boast, brazen lie, shout, or shout-out has been ours as well.  In this period, he’s praised his secret plan to destroy ISIS and take Iraqi oil. He’s thumped that “big, fat, beautiful wall” again and again. He’s birthered a campaign that could indeed transport him, improbably enough, into the Oval Office.  He’s fought it out with 17 political rivals, among others, including “lyin’ Ted,” “low-energy Jeb,” Carly (“Look at that face!  Would anyone vote for that?”) Fiorini, “crooked Hillary,” a Miss Universe (“Miss Piggy”), the “highly overrated” Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle ("You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever"), always Rosie O’Donnell (“a slob [with] a fat, ugly face”), and so many others.  He’s made veiled assassination threats; lauded the desire to punch someone in the face; talked about shooting “somebody” in “the middle of Fifth Avenue”; defended the size of his hands and his you-know-what; retweeted neo-Nazis and a quote from Mussolini; denounced the outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs and products while outsourcing his own jobs and products; excoriated immigrants and foreign labor while hiring the same; advertised the Trump brand in every way imaginable; had a bromance with Vladimir Putin; threatened to let nuclear weapons proliferate; complained bitterly about a rigged election, rigged debates, a rigged moderator, and a rigged microphone; swore that he and he alone was capable of again making America, and so the world, a place of the sort of greatness only he himself could match, and that’s just to begin a list on the subject of The Donald.
Yes, indeed. There is a lot more in the original, which is recommended, but I again conclude that Trump has said the above summarized points because he is insane (crazy, mad), while I say so because I am a psychologist.

And by now I also tend to think that this ought to be said a lot more plainly than it has been said so far: You do not say the above utterly nonsensical/false things (and many more) as a presidential candidate unless you are not sane.
---------------
Notes
[1]  Alas, this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for months now. I do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of "xs4all" destroy (really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from 2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because "you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which is the perfect excuse never to do anything whatsoever for anyone).

[2] As I said, I have read economy for over 50 years now, and this is one of the reasons I can judge it fairly well. Also, I do know a great amount about philosophy of science, methodology and probability and statistics, and this is another reason (and there are not many economists who know
philosophy of science and methodology as well as I do).

[3] There is - in my opinion, at least - a genuine difference between ethics and morals: Morals is about the norms of groups, with which all adults have plenty of experience; ethics is about the norms that should hold or hold in societies, which are considerably more abstract and more general, while societies, as such, also are not given in experience.

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