1. We Can't Elect a
2. Canada and EU Sign 'Thoroughly
3. The October Surprise:
Michael Isikoff on the FBI's
Clinton Email Investigation
That Could Jolt Race
4. Forget the FBI Cache; Podesta Emails Show How
America Is Run
5. Why the Democrats Keep Losing the Congress
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, November 1, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about a long article on AlterNet that explains why Americans should
not elect a psychopath for president, and comes with a fair bit of decent
psychology (that I leave to your interests); item 2
is about the CETA which has been signed (and I have warned
repeatedly that the opponents were mistaken when they said they had
defeated it); item 3 is about Clinton's emails, but
in fact contains very little news; item 4 is about
an article by Thomas Frank that tells me what I knew about Hillary
Clinton and her kind, while insisting - without any knowledge -
that the Clinton mails on Weiner's computer are without interest; and item 5 is about a good article by Ralph Nader.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It was OK for two days now (!).
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.
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
for many months now.
And I may do today, but do not know this as yet.
1. We Can't Elect a Psychopath President:
The first item today is by Don Hazen and Kali Holloway on AlterNet (and
I shortened the title):
This starts as follows:
It’s possible that no previous
presidential candidate, at least in contemporary American history, has
exhibited the range of aberrant, offensive and outrageous behaviors as
Donald Trump. Belligerent, unstable and anything but presidential,
Trump has turned much of the country into armchair psychotherapists.
His behavior is so undisciplined and erratic, he’s even prompted
licensed clinicians to break with orthodoxy—not to mention rules—to declare
a personality disorder.
Yes, indeed. It so happens that I am
a psychologist, though indeed (thankfully!) not a "licensed
clinician". Part of my reasons to be thankful that I am not a licensed
clinician is that I don't think much of psychology is a real
science, and that certainly holds for clinical psychology and
Then again I did learn something
when I studied psychology, and I want to apply what I learned a little.
First, each of the four links in the above quotation is quite
interesting, and especially the fourth - this one: from
a - is a rather convincing statement
(including many photos) that Trump is not sane.
I leave that to your interests (I liked
it, and think Trump is not sane) and turn to some declarations from
psychologists and psychiatrists that indeed he isn't.
Here is the start from the second of the
above four links:
For mental-health professionals, Donald
Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly
confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist
Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard
Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality
disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis.
“He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in
workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,”
said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts
lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would
have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come
Precisely. And while I am not
a "mental-health professional"  I know more than enough of psychology and
psychiatry to say "Yes, indeed!" as soon as I did read the
diagnosis that Trump is a
grandiose narcissist, and in fact I should add that everybody
who is an M.A. in psychology or psychiatry can do little else but say
One reason many didn't is the
Goldwater rule, which follows, in part because it is obvious
baloney. Here it is:
On occasion psychiatrists are asked for
an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention
or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public
media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public
his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it
is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless
he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper
authorization for such a statement.
It is obvious baloney because it
shuts up psychiatrists from saying what they know about public persons.
And it is
baloney because it preserves the psychiatrists' interests, while
denying anyone else their knowledge on the basis of the completely trashy
notion that one may only inform the public (say: about the
obvious madness of a public figure who tries to be elected)
if (i) one knows him or her personally, and (ii) if one has gotten
permission to diagnose him and (iii) if one has also gotten permission
to make one's diagnosis public.
Clearly, that will never happen,
especially not if the public figure is obviously insane. Also,
while the professional, financial and personal interests of
psychiatrist are very well covered by this rule, the
financial and personal interests of everyone else, who may
suffer a lot if the obvious madman gets
elected are not at all covered - or are supposed to be
In brief, I am all for making open
the supposedly scientific insights of supposed scientists on topics
that are of importance to the public. It's as much bullshit to
deny the public scientific knowledge about a
politician's mind as it would be to deny the public scientific knowledge about a politician's plans.
The above quotation gets continued as
Despite all this, Trump rose to the top
of the Republican ticket, and as recently as September, posed a real
and viable threat to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Even with his chances
of a successful Hail Mary growing slimmer by the day, Trump seems
poised to collect about 40 million votes, a sizeable segment of the
voting populace. Those numbers should force those of us who oppose
Trump to understand what motivates those who support him.
Yes, indeed. And here is some
sociological, economical and political background to the rise of Donald
One contributing factor is how
ideologically, economically and socially divided America is. Those
factors are compounded by elevated—if not unprecedented—levels of
anxiety, fear and trauma. Many of the country’s wealthiest and most
highly educated citizens live along its coasts and in its major cities.
Trump supporters not only live outside those areas, they feel as if
they’re foreign in nearly every conceivable sociocultural way. This
goes hand-in-hand with a number of other social ills: a raging opiate
epidemic, persistent gun violence, the disappearance of manufacturing
jobs. It’s no wonder America now finds itself coping with a troubling
trend of middle-aged white, mostly working-class men
prematurely succumbing to the wages of despair: drug abuse, alcoholism
I mostly agree. That is, while I do
believe Trump himself is not sane (if you disagree
reasons for his popularity are not his sanity or insanity, but the
sociological, economical and political causes for the miseries of very
many non-rich Americans.
These causes are very real. Trump abuses
and lies about them to become president but then something similar may
be said about his main opponent (although she lies less, and
also is not insane). But as I said, I think the main
causes for Trump's popularity are sociological, economical or
But psychology is important as well:
Much of Trump’s campaign is fear-based.
For a variety of reasons, many people are fearful of many things, and
their fears are egged on by a news media that thrives on creating
anxiety. Advertising, political ads, news coverage and social media all
send the constant message that people should be afraid, very afraid.
The result is that many people are fearful of the wrong things, which
makes our society ripe for militarism, spying and Trump’s own
messaging. These fears often have little to do with the things people
should really be afraid of. But the constant fear-mongering explains a
lot of Trump’s appeal.
I more or less agree. This is continued as
And perhaps the most obvious question of
all: are we watching an illogical fool or a masterful psychopathic,
narcissistic, master manipulator at work? Or perhaps both?
We’ve created this handy guide to
identify the brain games we’ve witnessed over this seemingly eternal
race. We begin with the psychopathic and narcissistic personality,
which includes traits Trump so often exhibits. Then, we’ll look at some
of the realities of life for so many Americans, which make them
vulnerable to Trump’s appeals
My answer to the questions asked in the
first of the above two quoted paragraphs is that Trump is a grandiose narcissist who very
much overestimates his intelligence, his knowledge, his capacities and
He can get away with it mostly because
those who support him tend not to know the relevant facts about
sociology, politics and economy, and because the media have very
much supported him until recently.
Here are the ten subjects that make up the
rest of this long article. I quote just the titles and not the
accompanying (long, usually clear and informed) texts:
5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
7. Cognitive Dissonance
8. Dunning-Kruger Effect
10. Trump Anxiety
I leave these all to your interests, but
should like to say that while I have some criticisms, overall this is a
psychologically/psychiatrically informed survey of these ten
points, and is also the first such one that I have read in the
ordinary (alternative) media.
And as I said: I think Trump is a grandiose narcissist; grandiose narcissists are insane; and the
president of the United States should not be insane.
This is a recommended article.
2. Canada and EU Sign 'Thoroughly Undemocratic' CETA Trade
The second item is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
This is all that I quote from this article,
but I do like to say (awful though I think it is) that I was right
in insisting CETA was not dead, while it was announced to be
dead by the alternative media, including Common Dreams.
Canada and the European Union signed the Comprehensive Economic and
Trade Agreement (CETA) on Sunday amid widespread protests against
the controversial deal that came
back to life after negotiations stalled over objections
from Wallonia, Belgium.
Environmental and democracy groups who
opposed the agreement issued cautious statements condemning the signing
but noting that CETA was not a done deal.
"This agreement will probably not
survive the democratic and legal scrutiny of the ratification process
over the coming months. It's time for our governments to break rank
with corporate lobbyists and redesign a trade policy that respects
democracy and promotes the public interest," said
Shira Stanton, trade policy adviser at Greenpeace EU.
CETA now faces a vote in the European
Parliament and ratification by the parliaments of the EU's 28 countries.
If it passes, CETA would create a legal
system that allows corporations to sue governments for perceived loss
of profit. That framework will also be put to scrutiny by the European
Court of Justice and the German constitutional court, and if it fails
to stand up would invalidate CETA.
The deal has long been opposed on the
grounds that it would harm human rights, democracy, and the climate,
among other risks.
Also, for me this is the beginning of neofascism in Europe,
but then I also suppose I know more about (neo)fascism and politics
than most, and that I should give in to the majority of the stupid, the ignorant and
I do not, but I am very pessimistic
about Europe's future.
3. The October Surprise: Michael Isikoff on the FBI's
Clinton Email Investigation That Could Jolt Race
The third item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts as follows:
The race for the White House was jolted
on Friday when FBIFBI
after Weiner allegedly sent illicit text messages to a 15-year-old
girl. Comey notified Congress before the FBI
had even obtained a warrant to look at Abedin’s email.
Director James Comey notified congressional leaders that the agency had
discovered more emails as part of its probe into Hillary Clinton’s use
of a private email system. The emails were discovered as part of an
investigation into former Congressmember Anthony Weiner, the estranged
husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Abedin reportedly stored
hundreds of thousands of emails on Weiner’s computer, which was seized
by the FBI after Weiner allegedly sent
illicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl. Comey notified Congress
before the FBI had even obtained a warrant
to look at Abedin’s email.
This is from the introduction, and it is true
as far as I know: Huma Abedin seems to have stored several tenthousands
of mails from Clinton and her staff on a computer used by her
("estranged") husband Anthony Weiner.
Then again, so far it seems no one
has read the emails, and therefore no one
really knows whether they are dangerous for Clinton.
Apart from all that, I have one simple
question: Did Huma Abedin lack the money to buy her own
computer to store the mails she wanted to store from
Clinton and her staff?!
Here is some more by Amy Goodman:
Yes, indeed: There was an open letter signed
by former federal prosecuters. I haven't seen it; I think it was mostly
as I suppose was Comey's decision to make it known that (so far unread)
mails from Clinton and her staff were stored on Weiner's computer by
AMY GOODMAN: Hillary Clinton is not alone in
criticizing FBI Director Comey’s actions. A
bipartisan group of former federal prosecutors signed an open letter,
writing, quote, "Many of us have worked with Director Comey; all of us
respect him. But his unprecedented decision to publicly comment on
evidence in what may be an ongoing inquiry just eleven days before a
presidential election leaves us both astonished and perplexed," they
The criticism of the FBI
director has come from both Democrats and Republicans.
To talk more about the news, we’re joined
by Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News.
He’s joining us from Washington, D.C.
In actual fact, this is what is known (late on October 31):
ISIKOFF: (...) But what
was in those emails, we don’t know.
There is considerably more in the original.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, the FBI
agents who see this trove of emails, reportedly something like 650,000
emails—is that right?
ISIKOFF: That’s 650,000
emails that were on the computer. Most of those were Anthony Weiner’s
emails. Some portion of them, in the thousands, perhaps tens of
thousands, were Abedin emails.
4. Forget the FBI Cache; Podesta
Emails Show How America Is Run
The fourth item today is by Thomas Frank
(<- Wikipedia) on Common Dreams:
starts as follows:
This is misleading in part: Thomas
Frank does not
know what is in the mails on Weiner's computer. There is this on what
he found (he says) in the Podesta emails (and this ends the article):
The emails currently roiling
the US presidential campaign are part of some unknown digital
collection amassed by the troublesome Anthony Weiner, but if your
purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington
today, the emails that really matter are the ones being slowly
released by WikiLeaks from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s
campaign chair John Podesta. They are last week’s scandal in a year
running over with scandals, but in truth their significance goes far
beyond mere scandal: they are a window into the soul of the Democratic
party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party
I say, but not really: I think I knew all
of this, and for a long time as well:
Then there is the apparent nepotism, the
dozens if not hundreds of mundane emails in which petitioners for this
or that plum Washington job or high-profile academic appointment
politely appeal to Podesta – the ward-heeler of the meritocratic elite
– for a solicitous word whispered in the ear of a powerful crony.
This genre of Podesta email, in which
people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, points us
toward the most fundamental thing we know about the people at the top
of this class: their loyalty to one another and the way it overrides
everything else. Of course Hillary Clinton staffed her state department
with investment bankers and then did speaking engagements for
investment banks as soon as she was done at the state department. Of
course she appears to
think that any kind of bank reform should “come from the industry
itself”. And of course no elite bankers were ever prosecuted by the
Obama administration. Read these emails and you understand, with a
start, that the people at the top tier of American life all know each
other. They are all engaged in promoting one another’s careers,
Everything blurs into everything else in
this world. The state department, the banks, Silicon Valley, the
nonprofits, the “Global CEO Advisory Firm”
to have solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation. Executives here
go from foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are
honors. Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced
degrees. For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed. They
break every boundary.
But the One Big Boundary remains. Yes,
it’s all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren’t part of this
happy, prosperous in-group – if you don’t have John Podesta’s email
address – you’re out.
Executives here go from
foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are honors.
Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced degrees.
For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed.
And while I don't mind reading this again, I
also think that Frank does not know what
is in the mails on Weiner's computer.
5. Why the Democrats Keep Losing the Congress
The fifth item today is by Ralph Nader on his site
This starts as follows:
Why isn’t the Democratic Party
landsliding the worst and cruelest Republican Party in the past 162
Just take a glance at their record votes
and you’ll wonder why the Republican representatives don’t just
incorporate themselves and be done with any pretense that they are real
A brief look at a compilation of
Republican votes during the years 2011-2012, when the Republicans
controlled the House, demonstrates that they regularly choose Wall
Street over Main Street, drug and oil, banking and insurance companies
over consumers. And that Republicans want tiny enforcement
budgets against corporate crime to assure that hundreds of billions of
your health and other consumer dollars are not recovered from the
corporate criminals ($60 billion a year alone in business frauds on
Repeatedly, these Republicans, often a
unanimous 100% of them, in a bizarre kind of corporate-conditioned
response, vote in favor of corporations shipping American jobs overseas
rather than voting to protect American workers. This Republican-
controlled congress was intent on defending and increasing massive tax
breaks for the wealthiest at the expense of the lower income families,
attacking Medicare, social security, and other programs assisting
elderly Americans, even assaulting women’s health and safety, opposing
stronger food safety enforcement and preventing toxic pollution
controls while at the same time protecting rapacious student loan
companies and keeping victims of mortgage companies and banks
defenseless against onslaughts of insurmountable debt accumulation.
They also passed a bill to pay members
of Congress during a GOP-led government shutdown, however, while
refusing to guarantee that soldiers would get paid during the same
Yes indeed. There is more in the article,
which is 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
 I have explained this quite a few times
in Nederlog, and will not do so again. Instead, I refer the interested
to 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"
(This was most of Note 2 from October 29,
 Indeed, not at
all - but then I did
pick up a schizophrenic who had no house, no money, no job and had been
thrown from the art academy at which she studied, and provided her with
nearly 6 years of my help simply because I had fallen in love with her
briefly before she turned schizophrenic (triggered by speed and
cocaine, but prepared for in her youth by her insane parents).
Since she started as I said, and finished as Ph.D. in psychology, and
would not have done anything remotely like that without
my help, which I did give unstintingly and completely for free
for more than five years, I do know something about mental
health, crazy people, helping others and schizophrenia.
She did leave me soon after getting a job in the University of
Amsterdam and in fact returned to the standards her insane parents had
taught her in her youth. I am not sorry that I got rid of her,
but I am
sorry I helped her, simply because I had to do that while I was ill,
and she turned out to be totally not worth any of the enormous risks
and troubles I took for her.
In any case: I did have a lot of experience - in fact:
least two years constantly, 24 hours a day - with treating a seriously
mad person, and I did that very well and quite honestly, and also much
better than professional psycholo- gists or psychiatrists could have
done it (for in fact I did so after five of these professionals turned
out to be failures: we did try to get real professional help,
but we simply couldn't find competent professional help).
There is (or will be) more in my
autobiography (in Dutch).
I am not for disclosures of anyone's medical or psychiatric
problems if one is not a public person trying to
get an important job with what are obvious medical or
about his or her own condition. But I am for disclosures of obvious
falsehoods that are told by public persons that serve
their own interests. And Donald Trump is an obvious case of
such a public person.