1. Trump No Longer Really
Running for President
of the Week: Julian Assange, Publisher of
the Clinton Campaign Emails
3. The Trust Destroyers
4. 'Unprecedented': Poll Shows Half of Republicans Would
Reject Clinton Win
5. Noam Chomsky on the Perils of Market-Driven
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, October 23, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about a speculation by Peter Dreier: Trump is not trying to
be president anymore, but is trying to set up a right-wing media
empire; item 2 is about Julian Assange, who was
declared Truthdigger of the Week and who also was attacked from several
sides; item 3
is about an article by Robert Reich, that is (at least) correct in
saying that there is very little (political) trust in the current USA;
item 4 is about the fact that half of the
Republicans (!) would "reject" a win of Hillary Clinton; and item 5
is about another interview in the series of inter- views with Noam
Chomsky that C.J. Polychroniou has made. This is about education in the
part, for the moment --
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
possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my
computer. (It was OK on October 22, but not before.)
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
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. 
C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now
works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working. The
Dutch site still is a mess.
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.
Trump No Longer Really Running for President
The first item today is by Peter Dreier on AlterNet and originally on
The American Prospect:
This starts as follows (and no: the title
is not literally true):
If it wasn't clear before Wednesday
night's debate, it should be obvious now that Donald Trump is no longer
seriously running for president. He is using his campaign to become the
leader of what he calls “our movement”—a white supremacist, nativist,
and nationalist crusade—to boost his ego, settle scores (including with
many Republicans), and make it impossible for Hillary Clinton to
govern. He intends to become America's first celebrity demagogue.
I do not know whether this is
true. My main reason is that I don't think Donald Trump is sane,
as I first explained on March 14, 2016.
And I should add that I am a psychologist, who has known quite a number
of people who were not sane, though indeed I have met no one
who was as evidently as grandiose
a narcissist as Donald Trump is (who by his income also has had far
more opportunities to indulge in this kind of personal pathology: he 'is famous' and therefore (he said) he
can "grab them" - any woman he likes - "by the pussy").
The following is true:
As his poll numbers have dropped, Trump
has become increasingly inflammatory. After his campaign advisers
realized that they could not control him and that he could not control
himself—that he was prone to impulsive and self-destructive
behavior—they tried to turn his worst character traits into an asset by
claiming that they were encouraging "Trump to be Trump." It was all on
display on the debate podium at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Trump's performance offered no surprises. What Americans saw was the
same racist, sexist, thin-skinned, nativist bully—dispensing paranoid
conspiracy theories, unable to make a coherent argument, going
ballistic whenever Clinton criticized him—that we've watched for more
than a year on the campaign trail.
But I also have to add that somebody who
was busy "dispensing paranoid conspiracy
theories, unable to make a coherent argument, going ballistic whenever
Clinton criticized him" again also does not
appear to be quite sane, to which I add that some 80%
of his statements (!!) also were lies.
Peter Dreier thinks this is (or may be)
For the past few months, Trump has been
using his campaign to set the stage for a new white supremacist
right-wing media empire with Breitbart News head
Stephen Bannon (his campaign chair) and adviser Roger Ailes (the former
Fox News head fired for flagrant sexual assault and harassment). Their
goal is to create a media vehicle that will serve as the voice of the
right-wing movement Trump intends to lead and to compete with, and
outfox, Fox News.
But he ends as follows:
Whether Trump can translate his
megalomaniac fantasy into political reality remains to be seen. But as
America hits the home stretch of this bizarre election season, it is
clear that after the votes have been counted, we won't have seen the
last of Donald Trump.
Perhaps. And this is a recommended article.
2. Truthdigger of the Week:
Julian Assange, Publisher of the Clinton Campaign Emails
The second item is by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Should we condemn Julian Assange for his
recent interventions in U.S. politics?
The Australian hacker-turned-journalist
became an international hero for free speech and government
transparency in 2010 when he published through WikiLeaks, an
organization he co-founded, a quartet of award-winning disclosures revealing the U.S. military
behaving far worse in its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq than it had
admitted and U.S. State Department officials speaking frankly about
their allies and intentions around the globe.
Under threat of exposure, the Obama
administration, led by Hillary Clinton’s State Department, leapt into
action, opening a criminal investigation into Assange and pursuing him
through its international allies to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in
2012, where he remains to this day, functionally imprisoned under
asylum. This week, while he was still coordinating his work with
others, the Ecuadorean government suspended his internet access.
I do think Julian Assange merits the honor
- so to speak - of being made "Truthdigger of the Week". And I will
sharpen this a bit by saying something about the beginning and the end
of the above quotation.
The initial question clearly should be
answered with "No".
One may not agree with everything Assange
says and does (I don't), but someone who is publishing many official
things that ought to be much more widely known than they are,
and which are not as far as well known as they deserve
to be because (i) the American government (and other governments) try
to keep them secret, while (ii) a considerable amount of the (American)
mainstream press mostly prints what the (American) government likes to
see published, cannot be properly blamed for "intervening in U.S.
This was one of my reasons to say on
October 19 that Assange was censored by the Ecuadorian
It seems Ecuador's government likes
it if Hillary Clinton is elected president, and dislikes it if
Donald Trump were elected; Ecuador's government believes
Assange's publications on Wikileak decreases Clinton's chances;
Ecuador's government decided to stop Julian Assange's use of internet.
And this was an additional reason I gave:
Why should Assange be prevented
from "attempting to undermine Hillary Clinton’s
campaign for the presidency"?!
If he does - for which I have not seen one
of proof - I disagree with him, but he does no more than 4/5th or
of the mainstream media have been doing the last seven months.
Then again, there are some who say Assange
did not publish as he should have:
Relative newcomers to the critique of
Assange are NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, journalist, author and
activist Naomi Klein and Harvard Law professor and
civil liberties advocate Lawrence Lessig. They take issue with the
failure of Assange and his colleagues to strip the leaked documents of
information that is not essential to the business of informed democracy
and which unnecessarily spotlights the personal lives of the people
I have to say that I neither like Klein
nor Lessig and I will not consider their arguments.
And there is Edward Snowden, who tweeted:
To which I say: Perhaps. The writer of the
article, in partial answer to this, asks two questions:
Would Assange, who set out to
perform the honorable service of exposing government corruption, behave
as he does today if he, a single individual with limited resources, had
not been relentlessly pursued into the corner of a single room for 5½
years by people atop the most powerful state in civilized history? And
can he, under burden of stress and loss of staff, associations and
resources, be expected to fulfill the ethical obligations he once
honored and still perform the service of making essential, willfully
concealed information public?
These are good questions. The article is
The third item is by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as follows:
Donald Trump’s warning that he might
not accept the results of
the presidential election exemplifies his approach to everything:
it takes to win, even if that means undermining the integrity of the
Trump isn’t alone. The same approach
underlies Senator John
warning that Senate Republicans will unite against any Supreme
Court nominee Hillary Clinton might put up, if she becomes
The Republican Party as a whole has
embraced this philosophy for
more than two decades. After Newt Gingrich took over as Speaker of the
1995, compromise was replaced by brinksmanship, and normal legislative
maneuvering was supplanted by threats to close down the government –
which occurred at the end
of that year.
I suppose this is more or less correct.
Then again, it weren't just the Republicans:
This is followed by a number of illustrations
which I leave to your interests.
In truth, it’s not just Republicans and
not just relationships
between the two major parties that have suffered from the prevailing
this year’s Democratic primaries, former Democratic
National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her staff showed
disdain for the integrity of the political process by discussing ways
to derail Bernie
Sanders’s campaign, according to hacked emails.
The same ethos is taking over the private
The article ends as follows:
By stretching the boundaries of what’s
acceptable, all the people I’ve mentioned – and too many others just
like them – have undermined prevailing norms and weakened the
tacit rules of the game.
The net result has been a vicious
cycle of public distrust. Our economic and political systems appear to
be rigged, because, to an increasing extent, they are. Which makes the
more cynical – and, ironically, more willing to believe half-baked
theories such as Trump’s bizarre claim that the upcoming election is
The cumulative damage of today’s ethos of doing whatever
it takes to win, even at the cost of undermining the integrity of our
system, is incalculable.
There certainly is a lot less trust than
there was, in the USA, indeed for quite a while also. And see the next
item for how this might unpack:
4. 'Unprecedented': Poll Shows Half of Republicans Would
Reject Clinton Win
The fourth item is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Half of Republicans would "reject" a
Hillary Clinton presidency, with nearly 70 percent saying a win for the
Democratic nominee would be the result of a rigged election, a new
Reuters/Ipsos poll has found.
The survey, released Friday, indicates
that Republicans are continuing to take their cues from party nominee
Donald Trump, who suggested
at the final presidential debate this week that he might contest the
election results if he loses—an "unprecedented"
break with democratic tradition in America, as many observers pointed
out in response.
Conversely, the poll found, seven in 10
Democrats would accept a Trump presidency, and Clinton has said she
would not contest the results.
I say. That is more than I
thought, though the explanation seems correct. Then again, one problem
is what Republicans mean when they say they "would "reject" a Hillary Clinton presidency", and a related problem is what they are willing to do
to prevent a Clinton presidency.
In fact, I think do not have adequate
ideas to answer these questions.
Here is some more on Trump's false
Trump has also called on his supporters
polling places around the country on Election Day for voter
fraud—raising concerns about intimidation and suppression by the right.
The independent policy institute Brennan Center for Justice has
consistently reported that this kind of widespread illegitimate voter
As Lonna Atkeson, University of New
Mexico professor and head of the Center for the Study of Voting,
Elections, and Democracy, told Reuters, this level of
mistrust among Republicans is unprecedented.
"I've never seen an election like this.
Not in my lifetime. Certainly not in modern history," she said.
I say. We shall have to find out whether
Trump will call for - say - 10 million followers with arms, to prevent
Clinton from winning the election. 
This starts as follows:
5. Noam Chomsky on the Perils of Market-Driven Education
The fifth and last item is by C.J. Polychroniou and Lily Sage on
Throughout most of the modern period,
beginning with the era known as the Enlightenment, education was widely
regarded as the most important asset for the building of a decent
society. However, this value seems to have fallen out of favor in the
contemporary period, perhaps as a reflection of the dominance of the
neoliberal ideology, creating in the process a context where education
has been increasingly reduced to the attainment of professional,
specialized skills that cater to the needs of the business world.
What is the actual role of education and
its link to democracy, to decent human relations and to a decent
society? What defines a cultured and decent society? World-renowned
linguist, social critic and activist Noam Chomsky shares his views on
education and culture in this exclusive interview for Truthout.
In fact, C.J. Polychroniou
has published quite a few good interviews with Noam Chomsky, and I have
been covering some of them on Nederlog, and this is another one.
Here is Chomsky on
education and the USA:
Yes, I think that is all correct, indeed
including "An educated public is surely a
prerequisite for a functioning democracy" -
which means either that there is not much of "a functioning democracy" left in the
USA or else
that there is some, but it is mostly limited to a part of the public
that is decently educated, which is a minority, and - comparatively, at
least - not a large one.
Noam Chomsky: I don't
think there is a simple answer. The actual state of education has both
positive and negative elements, in this regard. An educated public is
surely a prerequisite for a functioning democracy -- where "educated"
means not just informed but enabled to inquire freely and productively,
the primary end of education. That goal is sometimes advanced,
sometimes impeded, in actual practice, and to shift the balance in the
right direction is a major task -- a task of unusual importance in the
United States, in part because of its unique power, in part because of
ways in which it differs from other developed societies.
It is important to remember that although
the richest country in the world for a long time, until World War II,
the US was something of a cultural backwater. If one wanted to study
advanced science or math, or to become a writer and artist, one would
often be attracted to Europe. That changed with World War II for
obvious reasons, but only for part of the population.
There is this on the markets, "neoliberalism" and education in the USA:
The market-driven education
tendencies that you mention are unfortunately very real, and harmful.
They should, I think, be regarded as part of the general neoliberal
assault on the public. The business model seeks "efficiency," which
means imposing "flexibility of labor" and what Alan Greenspan hailed as
"growing worker insecurity" when he was praising the great economy he
was running (before it crashed). That translates into such measures as
undermining longer-term commitments to faculty and relying on cheap and
easily exploitable temporary labor (adjuncts, graduate students).The
consequences are harmful to the work force, the students, research and
inquiry, in fact all the goals that higher education should seek to
Yes, although it should be realized that
Chomsky is speaking about American universities.
There is considerably more in the interview, which is recommended.
To illustrate one - radical - difference with the Dutch
situation (which I know best because I am Dutch), which indeed was (and
is) quite different from the American one, I quote one bit
about truth and
the University of Wisconsin:
At one point the state government
even wanted to change the traditional mission of the university,
deleting the commitment to "seeking truth" -- a waste of time for an
institution producing people who will be useful for Wisconsin
businesses. That was so outrageous that it hit the newspapers, and they
had to claim it was a clerical error and withdraw it.
In the University of Amsterdam the
academic year 1978/1979 was officially opened with a speech by
the professor of history Brandt, who said literally (in Dutch) that
"Everybody knows that truth
does not exist"
which was postmodernism
even before the term "postmodernism" was coined (which happened
It was extremely popular in the University of Amsterdam , and indeed four years later the whole official purpose
of the University of Amsterdam was declared to be this:
to further the ends (from
1983-1988) of "the trade union movement, the feminist movement and the
much rather than doing science, educating
students, or investigating truth (that to the best of my knowledge was not studied
from 1978-1995, at least, though a few physicists, chemists, and
biologists might have disagreed, although no one said so in
public, to the best of my - considerable - knowledge).
And there was no Dutch paper or newsprogram that paid the
slightest attention to the fact that truth was no
longer a goal of the university; that truth was - very widely also, and for many years - denied to
exist; and that in effect the whole Dutch university system
between 1971 and 1995 (when the system was in the hands of the
students) was political
much rather than scientific
(which indeed also had no reason to exist if "everybody knows that truth does not exist").
But I agree this is personal to me and also happened quite a while ago. 
Back to Noam Chomsky and the interview, which ends thus:
I am old enough to remember the
atmosphere of the 1930s. A large part of my family came from the
unemployed working class. Many had barely gone to school. But they
participated in the high culture of the day. They would discuss the
latest plays, concerts of the Budapest String Quartet, different
varieties of psychoanalysis and every conceivable political movement.
There was also a very lively workers' education system with which
leading scientists and mathematicians were directly involved. A lot of
this has been lost … but it can be recovered and it is not lost forever.
I am not "old enough to remember the atmosphere of the 1930s"
(I was born in 1950), but I think this says considerably more about
Chomsky's personal background and experiences than it says about the
But I may be mistaken, and there is a lot more in the article, that is
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" (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
 You might reply "but this would be
insane" - and I do not say "No", but as I have argued now quite a few times and since nearly eight months:
I do not think Trump is sane, and for this reason I do not
know what he will do.
 I have explained this quite a few times now (and also most of it is in Dutch),
but I must say that the whole Dutch university system was unique
in the world between 1971 and 1995, because it was all that time
officially in the hands of the students.
It was so, because the Dutch National Parliament decided in 1971 that all
Dutch universities would be ruled by "a government" consisting of a
Board of Directors, and two kinds of "parliaments": The University
Parliament and many Faculty Parliaments, which were all to be elected
on the principle of one man = one vote, regardless of
whether the man (or woman) cleaned toilets, was a secretary, was a
student, or was a lecturer or a professor.
This system was in force from 1971 till 1995, when the whole system was
completely destroyed, and the power in the universities was given to
the Board of Directors only.
In the University of Amsterdam, this meant that the students
officially had the power for 24 years (simply because there were and
are far more students than others) and that the power was always
in the hands of the student party ASVA, that was led by members of
the Communist Party until 1984, and by postmodernists
from 1984 till 1995.
 For me this meant the
University of Amsterdam in fact was ruined
(as a real university) from 1971 onwards, that is for 45 years now. It
is true it took some time, but here are some facts that helped a lot
and are rather like the USA (although that also was and is quite
Pre-university education was about halved, since
1965: Until around 1970 one had to do examinations in at least 14
subjects, mostly written as well; since the late 1970ies one could
study with just six exams, that were partially taken with oral
University education was about halved, from the
90ies or the early 2000s onwards, both in time and in contents;
University education was made 10
to 25 times more expensive (depending on whether you look at the
prices for education or at the enormous declines in money to keep students
So in these respects, the Dutch have been following "the U.S. lead".
The "universities" are still called "universities", although by now (or
very soon) Tony Blair's ideal that everyone with an IQ of
100 may be able to get a university degree will be