1. Donald Trump’s Empty
Bluster Reveals a Narcissist
Who Can’t Fathom Defeat
AT&T Spying on Americans for Profit, New
Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally
4. Democracy Now on Norman Lear
This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, October 26, 2016.
is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1
is about Trump as a narcissist (which I think is correct); item 2 is about AT&T's systematic spying on
Americans; item 3 is about Google giving up its ban
on personally identifiable web-tracking; and item 4
is not a crisis item and is about Norman Lear, who designed All in
the Family, and whom I like but don't quite agree with.
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’s Empty Bluster Reveals a Narcissist Who Can’t Fathom Defeat
The first item today
is by Bill Blum on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The highlight of the third and,
thankfully, final presidential debate last Wednesday came roughly at the midway point, when Donald Trump
refused to say that he would accept the results of November’s election.
Since then, Trump has doubled down on
his position, declaring he would accept the outcome only if he wins and
invoking the example of the contested presidential vote in 2000 to
reinforce his right not to concede. His rationale—articulated with
increasing vigor as his poll numbers have plummeted—is that the vote is
“rigged” as a result of electoral irregularities.
Like most of the loathsome rhetoric he’s
spewed since announcing his candidacy back in
June 2015, Trump’s pre-emptive refusal to recognize the election’s
outcome is an incendiary mix of personal pathology and magical
thinking, racism and xenophobia, facts and legal distortion.
Yes, indeed. In fact, I have been saying
that Trump is not sane since March 14
of this year, but perhaps I shouild add that I am a psychologist.
In fact, I can add a little more now: I don't
think Trump was mad in 1992 (when he was interviewed by Charlie Rose).
I don't like him, but at that time he seemed mostly sane.
Here is Bill Blum's realization that Trump
shows considerable "personal pathology":
In a column published in July, I discussed the
Republican standard-bearer’s personality, as analyzed by several
leading mental-health experts who have followed his career closely.
Their view is that Trump is a malignant narcissist—that he suffers from
a well-defined psychological disorder marked by an exaggerated sense of
self-importance and entitlement, an overinflated belief in the quality
of his achievements and talent, a preoccupation with fantasies about
success and power, and a lack of empathy for others.
Yes indeed, I think that is correct,
except for the "malignant": The psycho- pathology Trump suffers from is
grandiose narcissism. (It's
explained under the last link.)
Here is some more on Trump's narcissism:
As a narcissist, Trump cannot
countenance actual defeat or even the possibility of losing in an
election that hasn’t happened yet. His signature axiom is that he’s a
“winner.” Hence, if he fails, it must be the fault of a rigged
system—and the deceit and/or stupidity of those responsible for his
No, I don't think Trump's "signature axiom is that he’s a “winner”":
I think his signature axiom (I'll adopt the phrase for the moment) is
that Donald Trump Is The Very Best in everything that counts (for
This is somewhat different from being a “winner”,
and one relevant difference is that one may realistically be a winner
in something - say: Kasparov in chess, Cruyff in soccer - without
being insane in any sense, while it simply is humanly
impossible to be The Very Best in everything or in most
In fact, for almost any of the many
desirable properties you have as a human being, there is almost certain
to be one (in many cases: many) who is better at that property than
But Trump denies this: He is The Very Best
- and he publicly declared himself to be so - in many things.
And it is
this that struck me on March 14, indeed after having been primed by
The above bits were all quoted from the beginning of the article, in
which it is also clearly explained why Trump is raving about the
elections being rigged.
I skip this, and only quote the end:
Yes - that is, if he goes calmly, which isn't
certain. But I agree there will be a new Republican demagogue, and this
article is recommended.
Unless lightning strikes and the ground
shakes, Trump’s political career is drawing to an embarrassing close.
Progressives should bid him a fond farewell, even as they gear up to
face off against the Clinton administration and whatever new demagogue
comes along to fill Trump’s shoes on the right.
AT&T Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal
The second item is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This has a subtitle, which I quote:
'If companies are allowed to
operate in this manner without repercussions, our democracy has no
Yes, indeed. And we'll get some more on this below. The
article opens as follows:
I am not at all amazed. What may be
used, may be abused, while searches of everyone's computers, everyone's
cellphones, and everyone's ideas, values, interests and convictions are
an extremely dangerous form of radical abuse from the
Telecommunications giant AT&T is
spying on Americans for profit and helped law enforcement agencies
investigate everything from the so-called war on drugs to Medicaid
fraud—all at taxpayers' expense, according to new
reporting by The Daily Beast.
The program, known as Project Hemisphere,
allowed state and local agencies to conduct warrantless searches of
trillions of call records and other cellular data—such as "where a
target is located, with whom he speaks, and potentially why"—for a
massive range of investigations, the Beast's Kenneth Lipp
But it is possible; it gives much more knowledge of and
as much more
over the many by the few; and so, since our corrupt politicians
have systematically helped the few rich, this will continue - I fear -
until the whole economical system collapses.
Here is some more on Hemisphere:
So to put this rather precisely: The CEO of
AT&T has decided to give the keys to the houses of hundreds
of millions of people to whoever uses Hemisphere, on one
condition: Those who got the keys to hundreds of millions of houses,
lives, persons, backgrounds etc. etc. should not say they got
the keys from Hemisphere.
Hemisphere was first
revealed by the New York Times in 2013, but was described
at the time as a "partnership" between AT&T and drug enforcement
agencies used in counter-narcotics
Neither, it turns out, is entirely true.
AT&T's own documentation—reported
here by The Daily Beast for the first time—shows Hemisphere
was used far beyond the war on drugs to include everything from
investigations of homicide to Medicaid fraud.
Hemisphere isn’t a "partnership" but
rather a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of
millions of dollars per year to taxpayers. No warrant is required to
make use of the company's massive trove of data, according to AT&T
documents, only a promise from law enforcement to not disclose
Hemisphere if an investigation using it becomes public.
Here is someone who speaks for Fight for the Future:
Evan Greer, campaign director at
the digital rights group Fight for the Future, said
Tuesday, "The for-profit spying program that these documents detail
is more terrifying than the illegal [National Security Agency]
surveillance programs that Edward Snowden exposed. Far beyond the NSA
and FBI, these tools are accessible to a wide range of law enforcement
officers including local police, without a warrant, as long as they pay
I do not know whether Hemisphere is "more terrifying than the illegal [National Security Agency]
surveillance programs that Edward Snowden exposed".
Two reasons to doubt it are (i) AT&T is not the state nor the
government, while the NSA is part of the secret services of the
government, and (ii) while this may help the police (all in totally unwarranted
and secret ways) the police still has to secure a conviction in
a court of law.
Then there is this on the law and how the police can secure a
conviction when they have data that they cannot declare the
And because the contract between the
telecom company and the U.S. government stipulates only that agents not
speak about Hemisphere if a probe using it becomes public,
investigators may be left with no choice but to create a false
narrative to explain how they obtained certain evidence, according to
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorney Adam Schwartz.
"This document here is striking,”
Schwartz told Beast. "I've seen documents produced by the
government regarding Hemisphere, but this is the first time I've seen
an AT&T document which requires parallel construction in a service
to government. It's very troubling and not the way law enforcement
should work in this country."
"At a minimum there is a very serious
question whether they should be doing it without a warrant. A benefit
to the parallel construction is they never have to face that crucible.
Then the judge, the defendant, the general public, the media, and
elected officials never know that AT&T and police across America
funded by the White House are using the world's largest metadata
database to surveil people," he said.
Yes, Schwartz is quite right. But there
are two solutions, and I think the second will soon be tried somehow:
First, AT&T's CEO may decide that the
police etc. who bought and used Hemisphere may speak of it. And
second, it seems quite likely that the Fourth Amendment will be
made "legally" utterly pointless, so that it absolutely does not
protect anyone. Your paper letters - possibly - still are
"protected" by it, but your electronically sent letters are not
protected by it "because it is electronic".
The last indeed seems to have been the -
- "reason" that is in the Patriot Act. In any case, since then the NSA has
collected everything anyone sent by mail, it seems.
Here is the final bit that I'll quote:
Yes, indeed. And that seems for many in
government and in the tops of the big corporations the point:
They want all the power, and this is
the way to get it.
Greer added: "Customers trusted AT&T
with some of their most private information, and the company turned
around and literally built a product to sell that information to as
many government agencies and police departments as they could. Not only
did they fail to have any safeguards to prevent unauthorized use of the
data, they actually required law enforcement to keep the program secret
and dig up or fabricate other evidence, to hide the fact that they'd
received information from AT&T."
"If companies are allowed to operate in this manner without
repercussions, our democracy has no future," Greer said.
This is a recommended article. Here is more of the same:
Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web-Tracking
The third item is by Julia Angwin on Truthdig and originally on
This starts as follows:
When Google bought the advertising
network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that
privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate
new kinds of advertising products.”
And, for nearly a decade, Google did in
fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records
separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable
information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login
But this summer, Google quietly erased
that last privacy line in the sand – literally crossing
pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new
language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the
company learns from the use of Gmail and other tools.
The change is enabled by default for new
Google accounts. Existing users were prompted to opt-in to the change
Since 2007 Sergey Brin may have added a
few billions of dollars to his personal account, and such major
differences between the extremely rich and the rest are bound to show
in quite a few cases.
One of these is his honesty and integrity:
Google had - in 2007, which is nine years ago - the norm that "privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we
contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”" And now that it seems privacy
is worth a lot of money if it can be wholly destroyed for everyone
who is not very rich, he seems to have reconsidered, and seems
to have been "literally crossing
pots of data separate by default".
So here is how it stands now with Google:
The practical result of the change is
that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now
be customized to them based on your name and other information Google
knows about you. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to,
build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they
write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.
The move is a sea change for Google and
a further blow to the online ad industry’s longstanding contention that
web tracking is mostly anonymous. In recent years, Facebook, offline
data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their
troves of web tracking data with people’s real names. But until this
summer, Google held the line.
Well, I hate Fuckbook and I don't think
Google is any better. Clearly, what both the NSA and GCHQ (etc.) and
dataminers like Google and Fuckbook want is to know absolutely
everything about absolutely everyone,
and computers and cellphones are THE means by which they are
know everything about anyone (who isn't extremely rich), indeed by hook
or by crook, also with a total irrelevance of all earlier promises and
all earlier sayings: Profit is the norm, and profit is the only
you and your privacy are totally irrelevant on the scales of Google or
But the era of social networking has
ushered in a new wave of identifiable tracking, in which services such
as Facebook and Twitter have been able to track logged-in users when
they shared an item from another website.
Two years ago, Facebook announced that it
its users by name across the Internet when they visit websites
containing Facebook buttons such as “Share” and “Like” – even when
users don’t click on the button.
Again I am very glad that I hate and
despise Fuckbook and Twitter and never was nor ever will be "a member"
of these thieving organizations. What about the others?
I am afraid the vast majority
doesn't understand computers well enough to understand the amounts of
abuse that these enable.
Now on Norman Lear
The fourth and last item is
by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! and is here because I like Norman Lear
(<-Wikipedia), who designed "All in the
Family" (<-Wikipedia), which I happen to like a lot.
This is not a crisis item, and in fact there are two interviews
with Norman Lear on Democracy Now:
The first of the above two links has the
Ninety-four-year-old legendary TV
producer and longtime political activist Norman Lear has led a
remarkable life. He helped revolutionize sitcom television with a
string of hit shows including "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son,"
"The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and "Maude." In 1999, President Clinton
awarded him the National Medal of Arts, saying, "Norman Lear has held
up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it."
Norman Lear is also a longtime activist, earning him a place on Richard
Nixon’s enemies list and the scorn of the Christian right. His life,
art and social activism is the subject of the new "American Masters"
documentary, "Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You," which
premieres tonight on PBS. We spoke with
Norman Lear in studio last week.
Yes, and this is a good introduction. This
is from the trailer for "Norman Lear: Just
Another Version of You":
PHIL ROSENTHAL: Television can be broken into
two parts: before Norman and after Norman.
CLOONEY: This is a
period of time where we were at our—probably our greatest change
socially. Mainstream television was one of the last things to jump, and
the first person to force it over that hill was Norman.
JON STEWART: All in the Family was
DICK CAVETT: Do you have a quick answer for
the people who say the show reinforces bigotry?
I agree with Jon Stewart, but I disagree
somewhat with Norman Lear.
LEAR: Yes. My quick
answer is no.
My reason is that (i) I believe All in the Family did
reinforce bigotry, and part of my reason are some of the comments one
finds under versions of All in the Family on Youtube, but (ii)
this bigotry is strongly correlated with ignorance and stupidity:
intelligent people see Archie Bunker is human, a fool and a bigot, but
with sympathetic sides, but unintelligent people insist that what he
says is true.
That is so now, and I think it also was the case in the 1970ies, when
the program was originally aired (but then there was no Youtube).
Again, my disagreement also goes a bit further:
AMY GOODMAN: (...) I began by asking him what
the title Just Another Version of You means to
No, I am sorry: I don't believe that
and my main reasons are my own history and that of my family. I'll come
to that in a moment. First a little more about Norman Lear, whom I like
but don't agree with:
LEAR: Well, that’s been
my bumper sticker for a number of years. And when Heidi Ewing and
Rachel Grady, who produced and directed the film—and, I think, did a
brilliant job—they happened to see my bumper sticker one day, and they
were studying my life and so forth, and they said, "That’s going to be
the title, if you don’t mind, of the documentary." And that’s the way I
feel about it, you know? We are versions of one another in our common
humanity, whatever our color, whatever our ethnicity, whatever, you
know, on the surface makes us individuals. In terms of our common
humanity, we are copies of one another.
If you look in the Wikipedia item for Norman Lear
you'll find that he is fairly special in two respects (at
First, all his successes on TV were in the 1970ies (as
can be seen from the schema at the end of the Norman Lear
item), which seems to me
to be a bit special. I don't think this has very much to do with Norman
Lear, and a lot
with the special time that the 1970ies were (which Lear played
And second, Lear divorced in 1986 from his second wife, and gave her
$112 million dollars, which - I take it - was about half of his wealth.
Few people get as wealthy as that, and it seems that
already only for that reason, a man who makes over $200 million
can't be "Just Another
Version of You".
Then again, my own history and that of my family is considerably more
important and disposes me to believe that "our common humanity, whatever our color, whatever our ethnicity, whatever, you
know" isn't very special, and indeed
produces many more real Archie Bunkers
than - say - Albert
As to the story of myself and my family:
My mother's parents were quite intelligent people who were anarchists,
but who had very little money and no education beyond 14; my father's
father turned communist in the 1930ies, as did my father, who had an IQ
over 135, like my mother; both of my parents and my grandfather went
into the resistance in WW II (which was rare, in Holland, where
there were 6 times more SS'ers than members of the Resistance, and
where over 100,000 people were arrested and murdered for being "of
the wrong race");
both my father and his father were arrested in 1941 and condemned as
"political terrorists" to concentration camp imprisonment, which my
grandfather did not survive; after the end of WW II both my parents
remained communists and also remained very poor, while being
discriminated by quite a few Dutchmen - very falsely - as "traitors"
because they were communists.
The explanation I have for my parents' and grandparents' quite
individual and quite rare choices is that they certainly
were more intelligent
than most, and that they also, besides, were ethically good in ways most
Dutchmen (many of whom collaborated in WW II) were not
willing or not capable to be.
As for me: I was called "a fascist" for more than ten years by many
students because I believed in truth and in science, and they
and also because I was not a Marxist, while
many leading students at
the time I studied were (pseudo-)communists, for all
were from 1971-1995 in the hands of the students. Also, I was denied
the right to take an M.A. in philosophy because I had said - completely
truly - that hardly anyone of those who taught me were competent and -
completely truly - all were much more interested in their
their status than in doing philosophy (which hardly anyone did: They
did not publish, for example, as academically employed very
well paid "philosophers" "because we are not vain").
Also I have a very high intelligence, so no: I do not believe
"we are all equal" or "we are all equivalent": If we were, then
more Jews would have been saved in WW II (but more than 1% of the
population - all supposed to be "of the Jewish race" - were
WW II) and (ii) many more students would have protested against
the worthless education they were offered by the University of
Amsterdam if they had been more intelligent or more courageous.
They did not, and therefore I believe there are genuine and
differences between people, which one should not attempt to
deny (as a very intelligent multi-millionaire also).
Here is a double quotation:
AMY GOODMAN: American Masters, yes.
This is Rob Reiner, who played Mike Stivic, Archie Bunker’s son-in-law,
on the iconic show All in the Family, talking about the
reaction to this series. And it’s followed by a clip of All in the
ROB REINER: The headline is "All in the
Family Introduces the
World to Foul-Mouthed Archie Bunker." "CBS rolled the dice last night with a new
situation comedy, All in the Family which will either be the
biggest hit of the season or the biggest bomb." So, there you go.
That’s what it says. Eight. We did eight seasons.
STIVIC: [played by Rob
Reiner] You know, you’re right, Archie? You’re right: The British are a
bunch of pansies—pansies, fairies and sissies. And the Japanese are a
race of midgets. The Irish are boozers. The Mexicans are bandits.
Yes - but this dimwitted ethnical baloney still
is popular among the dimwitted - and I am sorry, but the main
reason is that they are dimwitted.
BUNKER: And you Pollocks
Here is a last question:
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think Archie Bunker would
have voted for Donald Trump?
indeed, but Norman Lear did not answer Amy Goodman's question.
LEAR: I think of Donald
Trump as the middle finger of the American right hand. The American
people, you know, we are—in a democracy, the democracy depends on an
informed citizenry, which would be a well-led and informed citizenry. I
don’t think we have a media, generally, that informs. It yells. It
screams. It does bumper sticker. It doesn’t do anything in context. We
don’t get the news in context. And the American people, aching for
leadership, are tossed a Donald Trump, and I think they say, "OK, take
this." And they’re saying, with that middle finger, "Take this," to the
rest of us.
My own answer is: Yes, Archie Bunker would vote for Donald
Trump, as do millions who are intellectually like Bunker.
But I like Norman Lear, and I have not quoted anything from the second
interview above. Both interviews are recommended.
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