Nov 6, 2016

Crisis: Julian Assange, James Comey, Hitler & Trump, Common Dreams
Sections                                                                     crisis index

Julian Assange Speaks About Hillary Clinton, the U.S.
     Election and the Litany of Charges Against Him

2. James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Anthony Weiner and Our
     Descent Into Pulp Fiction Democracy

3. Quotations Relevant To Trump

4. Common Dreams

This is a Nederlog of Sunday, November 6, 2016.

A. This is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links:  Item 1 is about a good interview John Pilger had with Julian Assange; item 2 is about James Comey (the FBI-director who may have killed Clinton's dreams to be the next president); item 3 is about two quotes from my own journal from 2004, about the masses and about Hitler & Trump (and I did not know who Trump was, in 2004); and item 4 is about Common Dreams, that badly need money, which I strongly hope they will get, because they are overall the best internet-daily I know.

-- Constant part, for the moment --

B. In case you visit my Dutch site: It was OK for two days now, but again didn't work out in Holland the last days: It keeps being horrible most days.

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

C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working. It did most of the last week so that is something.

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

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

1. Julian Assange Speaks About Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Election and the Litany of Charges Against Him

The first item today is by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig, but in fact the item was made by John Pilger (<- Wikipedia) and is also on his site:
This starts as follows:

In a 25-minute interview with John Pilger, an award-winning Australian journalist, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange summarized his analysis of emails he published from the personal account of Hillary Clinton’s national campaign chairman, John Podesta, and much more.

Among the topics: “Pay for play” arrangements by which foreign officials paid large sums to gain access to the Clintons while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state; how her work at the State Department helped facilitate the creation of Islamic State; why Assange feels sorry for the Democratic presidential nominee; the contention that Assange is working with Russia to put Donald Trump in the White House; Ecuador’s suspension of Assange’s internet access; how he copes with his more than four years of isolation in London’s Ecuadorean Embassy; his concerns for his family; and the hollowness of the Western political and media establishments’ case against him.

I say: This was a good idea, indeed in part because John Pilger is a well-known journalist who has supported Julian Assange from the start and still supports him:

John Pilger: What’s the significance of the FBI’s intervention in these last days of the U.S. election campaign, in the case against Hillary Clinton?

Julian Assange: If you look at the history of the FBI, it has become effectively America’s political police. The FBI demonstrated this by taking down the former head of the CIA [General David Petraeus] over classified information given to his mistress. Almost no-one is untouchable.  The FBI is always trying to demonstrate that no-one can resist us.  But Hillary Clinton very conspicuously resisted the FBI’s investigation, so there’s anger within the FBI because it made the FBI look weak.
Possibly so. There is more on this topic in item 2. Then there is this on a lie by the Clinton camp that is mostly treated as true by very many mainstream media:

Pilger: The Clinton campaign has said that Russia is behind all of this, that Russia has manipulated the campaign and is the source for WikiLeaks and its emails.

Assange: The Clinton camp has been able to project that kind of neo-McCarthy hysteria: that Russia is responsible for everything.  Hilary Clinton stated multiple times, falsely, that seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That is false; we can say that the Russian government is not the source. 

Assange says more about Wikileak's reliability, and I think he is correct (if only because the Clinton camp had a strong reason to lie).

Pilger: The Saudis, the Qataris, the Moroccans, the Bahrainis, particularly the Saudis and the Qataris, are giving all this money to the Clinton Foundation while Hilary Clinton is Secretary of State and the State Department is approving massive arms sales, particularly to Saudi Arabia.

Assange: Under Hillary Clinton, the world’s largest ever arms deal was made with Saudi Arabia, [worth] more than $80 billion.  In fact, during her tenure as Secretary of State, total arms exports from the United States in terms of the dollar value, doubled.

Pilger: Of course the consequence of that is that the notorious terrorist group called ISIL or ISIS is created largely with money from the very people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation.

Assange: Yes.

Pilger: That’s extraordinary.

Well... I don't think this is a proof that "the very people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation" are the same people as gave the money to creat Isis. But indeed they may be and that itself is quite odd.

There is also this:

Assange:  One of the more significant Podesta emails that we released was about how the Obama cabinet was formed and how half the Obama cabinet was basically nominated by a representative from Citibank. This is quite amazing.

Yes indeed, and I wrote about this a few days ago, when I also said that I thought it rather likely that the same thing has already happened in Clinton's campaign, since in Obama's case these nominations were also decided in the October before he first became president and indeed before he was elected.

Then there is this:

Pilger: You get complaints from people saying, ‘What is WikiLeaks doing?  Are they trying to put Trump in the Whitehouse?’

Assange: My answer is that Trump would not be permitted to win. Why do I say that?  Because he’s had every establishment off side; Trump doesn’t have one establishment, maybe with the exception of the Evangelicals, if you can call them an establishment, but banks, intelligence [agencies], arms companies… big foreign money ... are all united behind Hillary Clinton, and the media as well, media owners and even journalists themselves.

I don't know. For one thing, there is the FBI-director's very recent attempt to interfere in the elections (I think). I do hope Clinton wins, simply because she is sane and Trump is not, but what if Trump wins the vote? Can they falsify it?  (I doubt it but I do not know.)

There is this on Assange's personal situations, which isn't nice:

Pilger: People often ask me how you cope with the isolation in here.

Assange: Look, one of the best attributes of human beings is that they’re adaptable; one of the worst attributes of human beings is they are adaptable.  They adapt and start to tolerate abuses, they adapt to being involved themselves in abuses, they adapt to adversity and they continue on. So in my situation, frankly, I’m a bit institutionalised—this [the embassy] is the world .. it’s visually the world [for me].

And there is this on Assange's legal situation, which also isn't nice:

Assange: The U.N. [the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention] has looked into this whole situation. They spent eighteen months in formal, adversarial litigation. [So it’s] me and the U.N. verses Sweden and the U.K.  Who’s right?  The U.N. made a conclusion that I am being arbitrarily detained illegally, deprived of my freedom and that what has occurred has not occurred within the laws that the United Kingdom and Sweden, and that [those countries] must obey. It is an illegal abuse.  It is the United Nations formally asking, ‘What’s going on here?  What is your legal explanation for this? [Assange] says that you should recognise his asylum.’ [And here is] Sweden formally writing back to the United Nations to say, ‘No, we’re not going to [recognise the UN ruling], so leaving open their ability to extradite. 

In any case, this was a good interview, in whch there is considerably more than I quoted, and which is recommended.

2. James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Anthony Weiner and Our Descent Into Pulp Fiction Democracy

The second item is by Bill Blum on Truthdig:

This is from the beginning:

I couldn’t have devised a plotline approaching what happened the morning of Oct. 28, when FBI Director James Comey sent a terse, 166-word letter to the chairs of eight congressional committees, disclosing that the bureau had discovered additional emails that required it to take further “appropriate investigative steps” regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private internet server during her tenure as secretary of state. Only last July, Comey had broken the hearts of Republicans everywhere as he told Congress and the world that the email probe had been completed and Clinton would not be prosecuted.

So forget WikiLeaks, and forget Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs and the behind-the-scenes machinations of John Podesta: Comey’s letter was the ultimate October surprise, at once- breathing new life into the seemingly moribund Trump campaign and triggering shockwaves of anxiety and spasms of political bed-wetting among Democrats.

Hm. I wish journalists stopped telling me what I should forget (Wikileaks, Clinton's speeches, Goldman Sachs and John Podesta, no less) in order to concentrate on their topic of the day.

Here is a bit more about the context of the e-mails the FBI unearthed:

And then came another, even more improbable twist: The new emails had been found on a laptop computer owned by none other than Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former New York congressman who just happens to be the estranged husband of top Clinton aide and confidante Huma Abedin. The emails had been uncovered during the course of a separate investigation into sexual messages Weiner had dispatched to a 15-year-old North Carolina girl.

That seems all true, and it also seems all that is known until yesterday (November 5). In particular, what is not known is what is in these emails, which makes it pretty spooky.

Here is some on Comey's resume:

(..) Comey’s resume includes important and highly lucrative private-sector stints of a decidedly right-wing bent. As MarketWatch columnist Brett Arends catalogued in a post Wednesday, Comey raked in millions a year in salary and stock bonuses as an attorney working on behalf of defense-contractor giant Lockheed Martin, and Bridgewater Associates, known as the country’s largest hedge fund. For a time, he held a seat on the board of HSBC, the global investment bank that was hit in March 2013 with a $1.3 billion fine for international money laundering.

It does not make him sound reliable. The last bit I'll quote from this article is this:

So, was Comey’s Oct. 28 letter the result of his pent-up urge to get back finally at the Clintons and the Democratic establishment? The highly respected Guardian columnist Spencer Ackerman asserted in an article published Wednesday that the FBI has become “Trumpland,” populated by field agents and other officials rankled over Comey’s initial decision not to seek criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.

But this also - it seems to me - does not really explain why Comey did as he did. Maybe we will never know.

This is a recommended article (but not a conclusive one).

3. Quotations Relevant To Trump

The third item is by me and has no link, since it is based on an excerpt from my journal for 2004 that I recently made.

There are two English parts in it that are relevant to today's Trump, about whom I very probably had not heard at all in 2004 (for I only got fast internet in 2009, and surfing was extremely bad and slow until then, thanks to "xs4all" [2]).

Here is first something about Jacob Burckhardt (<-Wikipedia) and the masses:
I am reading Burckhardt's "Judgment on History and Historians". Here are some quotations from Trevor-Roper's introduction:

"..the character which Buckhardt's philosophy now increasingly assumed: a character of conservative pessimism and profound distrust both of the masses and of the unthinking, materialist civilization whose rise he now foresaw. Like his great contemporary, Alexis de Tocqueville, Burckhardt saw the price of democracy more clearly (..) by being himself, in his family tradition and intellectual outlook, one of its victims: an aristocrat." (p. 13-4)

"It is, fundamentally, that human civilization, which he valued so highly for its variety and creative strength, is in reality a delicate, precarious thing which only an educated ruling class can effectively protect against the revolt of the masses with their numerical strength, their materialism, their indifference to liberty, their readiness to yield to demagogic power." (p. 14)

"Where then was it leading? Burckhardt's answer was clear. It was leading to the despotism of the masses, and, he added, 'I know too much history to expect anything from the despotism of the masses but a future tyranny, which will be the end of history.' Such a despotism would be ruinous to art and literature and all the works of the human spirit; it would be entirely materialist, based on overgrown industrial cities; it would be levelling, brutal, tyrannical." (p. 15)

"The common people, with their naive belief in 'the goodness of human nature', might suppose that 'if the state power were completely in their hands, they could fashion a new existence for themselves'. But no: for 'in between occurs long, voluntary servitude under individual leaders and usurpers: people no longer believe in principles, but from time to time they do believe in saviours. A new possibility of long despotism over weary people presents itself time and time again.' 'People do not like to imagine a world whose rulers ignore law, prosperity, enriching work, industry, credit, etc. and who rule with utter brutality. But these are the people into whose hands the world is being driven by the competition among all parties for the participation of the masses on any and every question.' Again and again Burckhardt dwells on this grim prospect, the prospect of the dictatorship of Gewaltmenschen, 'the terrible simplificateurs who are going to descend upon poor old Europe', especially in the wake of continental wars, and to create, out of the blind assent of the masses, a hideous ideological tyrrany." (p. 15)
I like Burckhardt and also De Tocqueville, and both seem not to be much liked by most "leftist thinkers", indeed in part because they did not trust "the masses".

Well... I do have a real proletarian background (unlike the vast majority of other university graduates of the previous century) but I do not like "the masses" either, for the very simple reason that the majority let itself be deceived time and again, e.g. in the creation of the Soviet Union and in supporting Hitler.

And while I deny every poor man is ignorant or stupid (my parents were neither, although poor and not well educated, and I am poor and ill but got one of the best M.A.'s ever handed out, and I also have known quite a few poor men and women like my parents) I do think the chances are far greater that the majority of the ignorant poor gets deceived by propaganda than that they serve themselves well.

And here is something about a parallel between Hitler and Trump:

I'm now reading through "The mind of Adolf Hitler", which was written in 1943 by an American psychiatrist Langer, and published in 1972. So far it is interesting and perceptive. Evidently, Hitler was both a loony and an actor - secretive, theatrical, megalomaniac, and, in diverse ways, rather queer. Also, he seems to have been manic depressive, and had an sm-hang-up, so far as I can see.

It also explains a few things about the rise of Fortuyn in Holland, and hence about such types in politics, and why they would get success:

Because they have a theatrical personality, it would seem to me, exploited for their own conception of their own grandiosity, while having an intuitive gift of playing to the masses.

So, the three important points relating to what I call a theatrical personality here are:
1. Effective, self-conscious, deliberate play-actors
2. A strong sense of their own grandiosity and a strong need for
   public admiration

3. An intuitive feeling for what average people like to see, and
   hear and what moves them

What I have read so far fairly well explains Hitler, Mussolini and Fortuyn, though the book is less clear, again so far, on social psychology, which is in fact more important than individual psychology, since what matters is far less the individual than his appeal to the masses.

In so far as the persons themselves are concerned, the main thing is a sort of messiah-complex: They believe that they themselves hold the key to history, and are great individuals. Obviously, in the cases of Hitler, Mussolini and Fortuyn this is a misconception, and equally obviously, it might have helped them a lot if they had, instead, believed themselves to be great actors. But the main point is not what they believed about themselves, even though this is what motivates them, but what they succeed in making others believe about them.

The book so far seems to explain less about Stalin, Mao, Kim and Castro, to name some leftist dictators, of whom I know comparatively most about the first two, who also had the most power.
Incidentally, this bloated self-image seems common among leaders of men: Alexander the Great, Ceasar, Justinian, Mohammed, Timur, Napoleon, Stalin, Mao, Kim, Castro also had it or pretended it, and I can't see it, except in Alexander and Ceasar, and to some extent in Napoleon. And of these three one cannot deny that they must have been great generals, which is at least some sort of greatness in the leading of men.

But anyway, one important point is this: Those who succeed in public are actors, know they are actors, and use that knowledge. Also, there are examples of less unsavoury successes that way: Augustus, Aurelius, Franklin, Churchill - all of whom also seem cleverer than the others I mentioned, and less megalomaniac as well, if undoubtedly vain.

And I think the same thing is true of Trump, and more specifically: He is not a great individual, and neither were Hitler, Mussolini or Fortuyn (<-Wikimedia), but if he can convince sufficiently many white hundred-raters he may become as effective as Hitler or Mussolini.

We will know in three days.

4. Common Dreams

The fourth and last item today is also by me and concerns the plight of Common Dreams that are overall the best internet magazine I know:

If you click the above image you will know what you should do if you want to keep Common Dreams alive.
[1] Alas, this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for months now. I do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of "xs4all" (really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from 2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because "you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which is the perfect excuse never to do anything whatsoever for anyone).

[2] I became a member of the real xs4all in 1996, but it was sold around 1998 or 2000 to the KPN, which is Dutch telecom, which promptly took over all the propaganda of xs4all together with the name, but immediately gave extremely bad "service", while pretending to be "xs4all": From 2001 till 2009 (eight years) I was told that all my complaints about the extremely sick "service" I got from "xs4all" were lies because (literal quote, translated, and very often repeated to me): "Other people are not bothered by this, and therefore you aren't".

And these days they can't even serve my site properly, for I have now for many months no decent connection to "xs4all": I get previous uploads all the time, and it is not updated properly.

I am very sorry. I do not do this. I do not want this. I do not know who do this. It does happen all the time (but not completely consistently).

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