1. Selling ‘Regime Change’ Wars to
2. Electronic Frontier Foundation: Police Depts. Paid AT&T
Millions to Scrutinize Our
Texts & Chats
With Progressives Ready in the Wings, No Post-Election
Honeymoon for Clinton
4. Trump Is the Nation's Abuser-in-Chief
5. Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative
Who Left the Cult
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, October 29, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about a fine article by John Pilger about propaganda (which is what
most of the papers and nearly all of TV offer, these days); item 2 is about the illegal storing of everything
that passed AT&T since 1989, which is currently sold for
millions to the American police; item 3 is about
the progressives and Hillary Clinton: I think the progressives
overestimate their real powers; item 4 is about
Trump as abuser; and item 5 is about a fine article
by Mike Lofgren from 2011, that I did not read before yesterday, and
that is strongly recommended.
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.
‘Regime Change’ Wars to the Masses
The first item today is by John Pilger on Consortiumnews:
This starts as follows:
American journalist Edward Bernays is
often described as the man who invented modern propaganda. The nephew
of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psychoanalysis, it was Bernays who
coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for spin and its
In 1929, as a publicist for the
cigarette industry, Bernays persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes
for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade – behavior then
considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, “Women!
Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!”
Bernays’s influence extended far beyond
advertising. His greatest success was his role in convincing the
American public to join the slaughter of the First World War. The
secret, he said, was “engineering the consent” of people in order to
“control and regiment [them] according to our will without their
knowing about it.”
He described this as “the true ruling
power in our society” and called it an “invisible government.”
Today, the invisible government has
never been more powerful and less understood. In my career as a
journalist and filmmaker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate
our lives and as it does now and to go unchallenged.
Yes, indeed. In my opinion (and I am a
psychologist and a philosopher, by - excellent - academic degrees) Freud was a fraud
Bernays was a bastard. Both propounded ideas that were essentially lies ,
but Bernays was the worst, for indeed he was quite consciously
and quite deliberately
“engineering the consent” of people in
order to “control and regiment [them] according to our will without
their knowing about it.”
And he was quite conscious and quite
that this "engineering" had to happen by lies, by deceptions,
and by fraud, and
the reason he was quite happy was that he
thought the masses were mostly incapable of rational thought, whereas
his own kind of people, the rich or the soon-to-be-rich (like Bernays
himself, early in his career) were marked by
In case you want to know more about
Bernays (<-Wikipedia) - top liar, top deceiver, top propagandist, top fraud - you are
adviced to read his 1928 book "Propaganda" that
is on my site (but
still needs my comments: I am sorry, but I am also ill since 37 years,
so things may take longer than I thought and want).
As to the force of propaganda these years, there is this that dates back to 2003, after
the start of the war with Iraq:
I think Lewis and Pilger may well be right,
and in case you do not think so, my guess is that you do not know
enough about propaganda, which has been developed into an art since the
1940ies, that is literally everywhere where there are humans now.
The same year, soon after the invasion,
I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the renowned
American investigative journalist. I asked him, “What would have
happened if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged what
turned out to be crude propaganda?”
He replied that if journalists had done
their job, “there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to
war in Iraq.”
It was a shocking statement, and one
supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question —
Dan Rather of CBS, David Rose of the Observer, and
journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous.
In other words, had journalists done
their job, had they challenged and investigated the propaganda instead
of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children
would be alive today, and there would be no ISIS and no siege of Aleppo
There would have been no atrocity on the
London Underground on July 7, 2005. There would have been no
flight of millions of refugees; there would be no miserable camps.
And propaganda is essentially lying for money, while the liars lie - very
professionally, in a very well-trained way, with very
attractive hired voices and hired beautiful faces - because
they are paid by the rich (often CEOs of rich corporations) to lie for them to the public, which activity is termed (also by
Bernays) 'public relations': You have "public relations"
(<-Wikipedia) if you are rich enough to pay a firm of trained
professional liars to spread your lies, your deceptions, and
your frauds as if
they are true and honest information to "the public".
There is this about some of the top propagandists of the West:
Propaganda is most effective when our
consent is engineered by those with a fine education – Oxford,
Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia – and with careers on the BBC, the Guardian,
the New York Times, the Washington Post.
These organizations are known as the
“liberal media.” They present themselves as enlightened, progressive
tribunes of the moral zeitgeist. They are anti-racist, pro-feminist and
pro-LGBT. And they love war. While they speak up for feminism, they
support rapacious wars that deny the rights of countless women,
including the right to life.
They are the top of their field
(which is that of well-trained liars for money, who are willing
to lie for good pay) because they have to mislead and deceive the
best educated, in which they - these days, after some 25 years of
everywhere where there was supposed to be 'news' - normally succeed:
Most of the best educated do not see that what they are fed is propaganda rather than honest information.
Then again, one should also keep in mind
the more crude liars and deceivers who operate on the considerably
larger scale of deceiving the ordinary public, that did not
have a university education.
There is this on Donald Trump:
To most of us, the American presidential
campaign is a media freak show, in which Donald Trump is the arch
villain. But Trump is loathed by those with power in the United States
for reasons that have little to do with his obnoxious behavior and
The CIA wants him beaten. The Pentagon wants him beaten. The media
wants him beaten. Even his own party wants him beaten. He is a threat
to the rulers of the world – unlike Hillary Clinton who has left no
doubt she is prepared to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia and China.
Hm. I am against Trump not
because I like Hillary Clinton (I despise her and her husband) but
because Trump is not sane (and I am a psychologist). You do not
elect a madman to be the most powerful person on earth.
Clinton is a hawk and may start a nuclear
conflict. Trump is totally unpredictable except that he is firmly
rightist and pro rich. I do not think he is less likely to
start a nuclear war than Clinton is.
The article ends as follows:
Today, the greatest build-up of
American-led forces since World War Two is under way – in the Caucasus
and Eastern Europe, on the border with Russia, and in Asia and the
Pacific, where China is the target.
Keep that in mind when the presidential
election circus reaches its finale on Nov. 8. If the winner is Clinton,
a Greek chorus of witless commentators will celebrate her coronation as
a great step forward for women. None will mention Clinton’s victims:
the women of Syria, the women of Iraq, the women of Libya. None will
mention the civil defense drills being conducted in Russia. None
will recall Edward Bernays’s “torches of freedom.”
Scott McClellan, who had been George W.
Bush’s press spokesman, once called
the media “complicit enablers.” Coming from a senior official in an
administration whose lies, enabled by the media, caused such suffering,
that description is a warning from history.
In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal
prosecutor said of the German media: “Before every major aggression,
they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and
to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. In the
propaganda system, it was the daily press and the radio that were the
most important weapons.”
Yes. But I remain pro Clinton, not
because she is any good, but because she is not mad. Then
again, John Pilger is a sensible man, and there is a lot more
in the article that is good, which is therefore recommended.
2. Electronic Frontier Foundation: Police Depts. Paid
AT&T Millions to Scrutinize Our Texts & Chats
The second item is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now!:
This starts with the following
New details are emerging about how
AT&T has been spying on Americans for profit with a secret plan
called Project Hemisphere. The Daily Beast reports AT&T is keeping
private call records and selling the information to authorities
investigating everything from the war on drugs to Medicaid fraud.
AT&T reportedly has been retaining every call, text message, Skype
chat or other communication that has passed through its infrastructure.
Some of the records date back to 1987. Sheriff’s and police departments
each pay upward of $1 million a year for access to the call records. No
warrants are needed, and AT&T requires governmental agencies to
keep secret the source of the information. We speak with Adam Schwartz,
a senior lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. His latest
article is "AT&T requires police to hide Hemisphere phone spying."
I have written about AT&T and
Hemisphere here and here, but this article contains some
Here is first Juan González:
GONZÁLEZ: Well, all of this comes as new details are emerging
about how AT&T has been spying on Americans for profit. The secret
plan is called Project Hemisphere. The Daily Beast reports
AT&T is keeping private call records and selling the information to
authorities investigating everything from the war on drugs to Medicaid
fraud. AT&T reportedly has been retaining every call, text message,
Skype chat or other communications that passed through its
infrastructure. Some of the records date back to 1987. Sheriff and
police departments across the country each pay upwards of a million
dollars a year for access to the call records. No warrants are needed,
and AT&T requires governmental agencies to keep secret the source
This means that AT&T has been criminal
since 1987 (the last 29 years), for they know
Amendment. And while the Fourth Amendment may have been - illegally,
in my opinion - stopped by the "Patriot Act"
(<- Wikipedia), it certainly did apply from 1987 till 2001.
But AT&T gathered all calls, all
text messages, all Skype chats, and all otjer
communications nevertheless, for it knew it could sell
these for profit. ("And fuck the users! They can be deceived for
29 years! They don't know about computers!")
Here is lawyer Adam Schwartz from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
ADAM SCHWARTZ: [inaudible] the largest known,
possibly the biggest, database of telephone metadata that the
government is using to spy on us. Every day, the database grows by
literally 4 billion records. As you said, it has records going back to
the 1980s. And police are using powerful algorithms to scrutinize this
database of everyone that we are having telephone and other digital
communications with, to discover our personal relationships, whether
we’re talking to a psychiatrist or a criminal defense lawyer or a union
organizer on the telephone. We view this as a menace to our privacy.
And one of the most disturbing features of it is how it has been kept a
secret, so that the public and the courts and Congress cannot
scrutinize this program and decide whether we even want it.
I call this electronic neofascism:
AT&T are - quite consciously, quite deliberately - behaving as
electronic neofascists who can destroy all privacy of all users
simply for profit. And they have been doing this for (at
least) 29 years.
Nobody should have the rights to
read or store everything every user puts on line, and indeed nobody does
have these rights in the USA if the Fourth
Here is how AT&T inverted the
SCHWARTZ: Well, that’s a
great question. Under federal statutes that protect our privacy,
ordinarily, the police do have to go to a judge and get some kind of
approval before they get this metadata of who we’re talking to. What
AT&T has required the police to do, through the provision of the
contract that you just read, is what the police call "parallel
construction" and what the EFF calls
"evidence laundering." And what this means is, after the police find
evidence against someone in the Hemisphere database, they "wall it
off," quote-unquote from their training manual, and then they use a
traditional subpoena to recreate the exact same evidence trail. And
when it comes time to put the person on trial, they present the second
set of cleaner evidence, and no one is the wiser that they were using
this massive, disturbing digital database to spy on all Americans,
including the criminal suspect.
That is: AT&T has been illegally
gathering everything their users put on line, including their
private messages and anything else for (at least) 29 years; it sells
the use of their illegally gathered databases to the police,
but on condition that the police keep it all secret;
the police, if they found anything, then "launders" the evidence they
got illegally to make it seem legal; and hey-presto, another person
gets convicted in an apparently legal way.
Also, not only did AT&T keep
everything its own users sent through it, it also kept
everything others sent, using AT&T merely as relay:
This means that the public has been systematically
abused by AT&T as if they are subhumans without any
rights, who also do not deserve any protection nor any
GONZÁLEZ: And, Adam Schwartz, am I correct on this, that
AT&T is not—does not only provide information on their own
customers, but on other carriers who possibly may be going through the
AT&T infrastructure, as well?
ADAM SCHWARTZ: That’s exactly correct. Any
consumer, whether they are not—whether or not they are with AT&T,
when a call goes through an AT&T switch, it goes into the
And this is the rule of all data-miners, whether they
are the secret services or commercial thieves.
With Progressives Ready in the Wings, No Post-Election Honeymoon for
The third item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
continue to show
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of GOP rival
Donald Trump, many on the left are looking to November 9th and beyond
to ensure a hypothetical President Clinton adhere to a progressive
agenda that bucks Wall Street influence and follows through on promises
made on the campaign trail.
Indeed, several have said, as Brookings
Institution senior fellow William Galston did
to The Hill this week, that Clinton "doesn't get a
honeymoon"—she'll immediately be pressed to prove her progressive
proclamations were made not just in the name of political expediency.
"A lot of people are along for the ride
through November 8th and will need assurances after that with big, bold
action," Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign
the Washington Post on Friday. "If you lose people early
on, it's hard to get them back on board."
Hm. I am considerably more
skeptical: I think that Hillary Clinton operated as Barack Obama did,
which means that he and she said almost anything to be elected,
while once they are elected, they "forget" every promise they made that
is incompatible with their real program, which includes in
Clinton's case to help the Wall Street bankers who paid her so much to
get what they want.
And I think this is what will
happen. There are some who think they can stop her:
As former Bernie Sanders campaign
manager Jeff Weaver, who currently heads up the Our Revolution
political organization, told the Post: "You can't claim
to want to rein in Wall Street if your Treasury Department is filled
with Wall Street executives."
Sanders himself is among those planning
to hold Clinton's feet to the fire. "The day after the election,"
in an op-ed this week, "working with millions of grass-roots
activists, I intend to do everything possible to make certain that the
new president and Congress implement the Democratic platform, the most
progressive agenda of any major political party in the history of the
I like Bernie Sanders, and I trust that he
will try "to do everything
possible to make certain that the new president and Congress implement
the Democratic platform", but my guess
is that he will mostly not succeed. (I hope I am mistaken, but
Barack Obama ran a similar program, and he mostly succeeded.)
And here is Nomi Prins, whose article I
Also citing the email leaks, author and
former investment banker Nomi Prins this week offered
a bleak look at "Hillary's America, past, present, and future."
"It's a land lacking in meaningful
structural reform of the financial system, a place where the big banks
have been, and will continue to be, coddled by the government," Prins
wrote. "No CEO will be jailed, no matter how large the fines his bank
is saddled with or how widespread the crimes it committed. Instead,
he's likely to be invited to the inaugural ball in January. Because its
practices have not been adequately controlled or curtailed, the
inherent risk that Wall Street poses for Main Street will only grow as
bankers continue to use our money to make their bets."
"In Hillary's America," she opined,
"Wall Street will still own Main Street."
I think Prins is right, and the
progressives will have little real influence.
4. Trump Is the Nation's
The fourth item is by Jill Richardson on AlterNet and originally on
This starts as follows:
There is more in the article, which is
As an emotional abuse survivor, I get an
eerie feeling watching Donald Trump.
In fact, a checklist of 30 tactics used by an emotionally abusive
partner, published by the blog Live Bold and Bloom,
reads like Donald Trump’s debate prep to-do list.
One of the telltale signs of such abuse,
for example, is rooted in humiliation:
“They humiliate you, put you down,
or make fun of you in front of other people.”
This seems to be a cornerstone of
Trump’s political speech — like making fun of a disabled reporter, or placing the women who accuse Hillary Clinton’s husband of
sexual misconduct in the audience at the last debate. (I wonder if
Trump has ever heard that expression about glass houses and throwing
“They accuse you or blame you for
things you know aren’t true.”
For example, accusing Hillary of
laughing at a rape victim, which she didn’t do.
“They make excuses for their
behavior, try to blame others, and have difficulty apologizing.”
Like the “locker room talk” apology that wasn’t.
to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult
The fifth and last item today is by Mike Lofgren on Truth-out:
fact, this is from September 3, 2011, and I am quite sorry that I did
not read it earlier than yesterday, because Mike Lofgren is a very
sensible man. I did select four quotes, that follow, with my comments,
but you ought to read this article all by yourself: it is both
very good and by a former GOPer.
From the beginning:
Both parties are rotten - how could they
not be, given the complete infestation of the political system by
corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate
to raise upwards of a billion dollars to be competitive in the general
election? Both parties are captives to corporate loot. The main reason
the Democrats' health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully
phases in is the Democrats' rank capitulation to corporate interests -
no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no
negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.
But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats
have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen,
egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP.
I do like the beginning: "Both parties are rotten" (..) "Both parties are captives to corporate loot." And I like it because I think it is exactly right:
Modern politicians, especially in the USA, no longer speak or act for
their voters (although they do try to create the perception as if
they do), but they speak for those who corrupted them, which
are the big banks, big pharma and some others.
As to the GOP: Mike Lofgren knows this a
lot better than I do, and he says (among other things) this:
John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way:
"Over the last four decades, the
Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an
insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority
and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of
Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995
and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American
precedent for today's Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern
Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard,
federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to
secede from the union over slavery."
I had to look up John Calhoun
(<- Wikipedia) who died in 1850. I do not
know whether he was an adequate analogy of the Republicans since 1981,
when Reagan became president, but I agree with Mike Lofgren that the
radical declines in legacy started mostly with Reagan (after a
preparation by Nixon).
There is this about "tens
of millions of low-information voters":
There are tens of millions of
low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which
branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular
legislative tactic. These voters' confusion over who did what allows
them to form the conclusion that "they are all crooks," and that
"government is no good," further leading them to think, "a plague on
both your houses" and "the parties are like two kids in a school yard."
This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the
long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking
place since the early 1960s - a distrust that has been stoked by
Republican rhetoric at every turn ("Government is the problem,"
declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).
I think this is all quite correct,
and I have also been argueing for a long time that many of the voters
in the USA (and elsewhere, but we are concentrating on the USA) are stupid or ignorant - and
I don't say so with pleasure but with pain.
Here is the last quote I will give from
This tactic of inducing public distrust
of government is not only cynical, it is schizophrenic. For people who
profess to revere the Constitution, it is strange that they so
caustically denigrate the very federal government that is the material
expression of the principles embodied in that document. This is not to
say that there is not some theoretical limit to the size or
intrusiveness of government; I would be the first to say there are such
limits, both fiscal and Constitutional. But most Republican
officeholders seem strangely uninterested in the effective repeal of
Fourth Amendment protections by the Patriot Act, the weakening of
habeas corpus and self-incrimination protections in the public hysteria
following 9/11 or the unpalatable fact that the United States has the
largest incarcerated population of any country on earth. If anything,
they would probably opt for more incarcerated persons, as imprisonment
is a profit center for the prison privatization industry, which is
itself a growth center for political contributions to these same
Instead, they prefer to rail against those government programs that
actually help people. And when a program is too popular to attack
directly, like Medicare or Social Security, they prefer to undermine it
by feigning an agonized concern about the deficit. That concern, as we
shall see, is largely fictitious.
Yes indeed. But as I said: I think you
should read all of this article, and here is the
link - it is well written and quite sensible, even if
it is five years old now.
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
 As to the lies of Freud, here
are two references. The first is an article from the early 1950ies by a
former psychiatrist, Warren S.
McCulloch, who is also one of the founders of cybernetics: The Past
of a Delusion
(this has both the original English text and a German translation, and
both are in pdf), while this is my own from 2012 (and I have excellent
academic degrees in philosophy and psychology): DSM-5: Question 1 of
six most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis"
 In case you doubt this and
are Dutch: Compare the horrible propaganda sheet that is today's
NRC-Handelsblad with the same paper 25 years ago. (As far as I am
concerned, this is the night and the day. But yes, I did read the NRC-Handelsblad daily from 1970-2010 - a mere forty years - so I probably have a somewhat better idea of how it was than most of its current readers.)