1. Reckoning with a Trump
Presidency and the Elite
Democrats Who Helped Deliver It
2. Surveillance Self-Defense Against the Trump
"Genuinely Terrifying Prospect": Greenwald on Palin,
Giuliani & Bolton Serving
in Trump's Cabinet
4. Can We Count on the Election Results? Exit Poll
Discrepancies and Voter
Suppression Are Serious Issues
5. TPP's "Cardiac
Arrest": A Lesson for the
the Trump Years Ahead
6. An Absurd and Dangerous President
is a Nederlog of Sunday, November 13, 2016.
is a crisis
log with 6 items and 6 dotted links and it consists of some
further deliberations on the meanings of Trump's election as president
Item 1 is about an interview of three important people at The Intercept (Greenwald, Scahill and Reed); item 2
is about how one can defend one's computer and cellphone (and I say
serious opponents of Trump must learn to do without, though I agree
this will be quite difficult); item 3 is about Greenwald on the utter idiots (like Palin) who now may get a lot of power; item 4
is about the possibility that the elections were rigged for Trump (I
agree that's possible, but I don't think there will be any evidence
now); item 5 is on the very probable demise of the TPP (which is a good thing); and item 6 is about Spiegel International's take on President Trump.
part, for the moment --
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. And it
still does (on 11 and 12 xi.2016).
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. 
In case you visit my
Danish site: This worked correctly on 11 and 12 xi.2016, but not the day
And I think now this happens intentionally on both my
sites, for this did not happen for 20 years on the one,
12 years on the other. (12.xi.2016)
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.
keep this introduction until I get three successive days
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen
for many months now.
1. Reckoning with a Trump Presidency and the Elite Democrats
Who Helped Deliver It
The first item today is by Betsy Reed, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn
Greenwald, on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
The United States has been
plunged into a state of purgatory following the election of Donald
Trump. In all political quarters, people are engaged in their own
post-mortem analysis of how this happened and what it means, not only
for the future of this country, but for the world. Trump ran on a
pledge to engage in mass deportations, denying Muslims entry to the US,
the stripping of abortion rights and threats to “bomb the shit”
out of ISIS.
OK, let's see. To start with, here is Glenn
Greenwald on the Democratic Party and Brexit:
In this podcast, Intercept editor-in-chief
Betsy Reed and co-founders Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill
break down how we got here and what a Trump presidency means for
civil liberties, surveillance, war, abortion rights, and other issues.
Below is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation.
Glenn Greenwald: (..) I
disturbed by the way that they were casting and maligning essentially
all of the people who had committed the sin of voting what they
regarded as the wrong way by simply dismissing them all as primitive or
troglodyte or racist or misogynist. Even though of course many of them
are, many of them are not and even for the ones that do have that as
part of their motive, there are independently of that a lot of long,
deep trends that have destroyed the welfare and economic security of
tens of millions of people and put them into a mindset where they want
to destroy this system of authority that they blame. I think that is
what caused Brexit and I think to a large degree that’s what’s caused
As to Brexit: As I have argued before, this
is only an analogy, and it seems pointless to try to understand the
considerations of some 120 million American voters or to explain them
as if they were rational. Besides, there is the fact that
in both elections (the British and the American ones) around 40% of the
eligible voters did not vote.
As to the present elite of the Democratic Party: Possibly so. But my
guess is that the present elite of Clintonites will very rapidly
disappear. And what will come after that I don't know (and many things are possible).
There is this on the Clintons:
Jeremy Scahill: (..) No
one wants to talk about the
fact that the Clintons are perceived as corrupt royalty by a large
segment of the U.S. population: a candidate who was hawkish who
deservedly got the endorsement of many leading neocons. Instead it was,
well “whoever voted for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, you’re a
misogynist and you are responsible for this.”
This may be quite true if "No one" is
expanded as "No one in the present leadership of the Democratic Party",
but it is less true otherwise.
Here is Betsy Reed on feminism:
Well, I mean I
guess I would say I have somewhat complicated feelings about that
because I actually do believe that this election was an absolute
tragedy for American feminism. It’s a complete and terrible defeat and
I think that what Donald Trump displayed during the campaign and
throughout his entire career is just nothing but contempt and hatred
Well... 53% of the women who voted, voted for
the pussy grabber. If women's rights or feminism (which are not quite
the same) lost, which I agree they did, it seems they lost because they
were less popular than the pussy grabbing alternative. (I'm sorry, but
these are the facts.)
Here is Greenwald on what made Bill Clinton and Barack Obama win their
GG: I was thinking
about this this morning in terms of what happened in this election and
how the Democratic Party in the past has succeeded, and if you look at
the last twenty five years of Democratic Party politics you find this
really interesting trend which is: the Democratic politicians who
succeeded, who won the national election, which is Bill Clinton and
then Barack Obama, had one thing in common which is that they both ran
as these hardcore devoted consummate outsiders. I’m not part of
Washington; I’ve never been a part of Washington, in the case of
Clinton I’ve only been a southern governor, in the case of Obama I’ve
only been a senator for four years, and what I want to do is go in and
radically and fundamentally change how this entire place that you all
hate and that we all hate, how it functions. And they won.
Yes, that is correct - as it is also quite
correct that both served big money, the bankers and their own
post-presidential riches, and completely deceived most of the voters
who voted for them.
This is Scahill on the democratic sentiments displayed by the current
leadership of the Democratic Party:
JS: This notion, “well Trump is
now our president and we have to give
him a chance and we have to proceed with an open mind” — to me that’s
an utterly ridiculous idea. The idea that you’re going to take someone
who has openly espoused a desire to do mass deportation, to shut down
the borders. to have a screening process for anyone who happens to be
of a particular religion, i.e. Islam, that has openly said that he
wants to overturn Roe versus Wade– what chance is there to give this
Yes, but Trump won. And in any case, both
the Clintonites and the Obamites will quickly disappear from the
Democratic leadership. Then again, what a renewed Democratic Party can
do against Trump (who has won full powers everywhere)
remains to be seen.
This is Reed on Trump's many conflicting
BR: But the reality
is there is actually a
lot of uncertainty about what Trump will do. I mean it is terrifying.
The possibility that he will follow through on some of his promises —
he’s made immigration… he said that that’s going to be one of his first
priorities. That is genuinely, legitimately terrifying. But he also
contradicts himself right and left and he did throughout his whole
career. He’s gone back and forth on Snowden and he’s back and forth on
everything in the diametrically opposed positions, the guy has assumed.
So it is difficult to know, I think, to what extent we do need to fear
him. I certainly fear him because I fear the worst.
Yes, that seems correct to me: Trump
cannot be predicted with almost no relevant knowledge at present, but
it makes sense (from a progressive, liberal point of view) to expect
Here is Greenwald on Trump's unpredictability:
GG: Just to Betsy’s
point on this issue,
she’s one hundred percent right that Trump’s unpredictability on all of
these issue is attributable to the fact that he really doesn’t have any
stable positions; he’s a con artist, he says what he needs to say to
get you sign on the dotted line to sell you the used car. That’s who
Donald Trump is.
No, I don't think so. I agree Trump did
say anything he expected to help him and was extremely dishonest, but
he does have a series of beliefs and values
that long antedate his trying to become president, and these are
neofascistic in my sense: See note .
There is this on Snowden if there had been
a Republican in the White House in 2013:
GG: I always
said that if Edward
Snowden had leaked documents during a Republican administration, with a
Republican president in the White House, there would be a gigantic
fifty-foot statue erected outside of the headquarters of MSNBC at 30
Rock in his honor.
Perhaps, but this is an uncontrollable
Here is the last bit I'll quote from this
article, and here Greenwald is quite correct again, on the extreme powers that were given by the Democrats to Trump:
GG: These are now the
powers that were
begun by George Bush, but then extended and consecrated by Barack
Obama. So they were converted from radical G.O.P. dogma into
non-debated bipartisan orthodoxy. This is now the template of awesome,
scary, unconstrained powers that is being handed to Donald Trump on a
silver platter and there’s nothing anyone can do about it because
Republicans and Democrats have spent fifteen years legislating the
power defending them in court and convincing people politically to turn
their backs from those who are objecting to overtly support them.
And so to the extent of the Donald Trump
presidency is incredibly scary — and it is — Democrats have had a very
large role to play in why that is.
Yes, indeed: It is to a good extent the
combined faults of Obama (who was a deceiver like Bill Clinton was) and
the elite of the Democratic Party that both made Trump win the
elections and gave him far greater power than any other man ever had.
And almost the only good thing I can see in this (see item 5 for another good thing) is that Obama and the
Clintons and the present elite of the Democratic Party will soon be out and will not come back.
2. Surveillance Self-Defense
Against the Trump Administration
The second item is by Micah Lee on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
I say. Well... I agree and I disagree.
On Tuesday, Americans handed the
U.S. presidency to a racist,
xenophobic, authoritarian, climate-science-denying, misogynistic,
revenge-obsessed ego-maniac — and with it control over a vast and
all-too-unaccountable intelligence apparatus; and in a speech less than
three weeks ago, Trump promised to sue all of the women who have come
forward with sexual assault accusations against him.
Trump has repeatedly shown utter
disrespect for the rule of law. He doesn’t believe in freedom of
religion. He advocates torture. He has said he’ll instruct
his Justice Department to investigate Black Lives Matter activists, and
it’s likely he’ll appoint Rudy Giuliani, of New York City’s racist
“stop-and-frisk” fame, as his attorney general to do the investigating.
The New York Times also reports
that “Mr. Trump still privately muses about all the ways he will punish
his enemies after Election Day.”
With Trump eager to misuse his
and get revenge on his perceived enemies, it’s reasonable to conclude
there will be a parallel increase in abuse of power in law
enforcement and the intelligence community. Activists who put
their bodies on the line trying to protect basic rights — freedom of
religion, freedom of speech, civil rights, reproductive rights,
voting rights, privacy rights — will face the brunt of it.
Thanks to 16 years of relentless
expansion of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama,
Trump is about to have more tools of surveillance at his disposal
than any tyrant ever has. Those preparing for the long fight ahead
must protect themselves, even if doing so can
be technically complicated.
I agree one has to be very, very careful in using a computer if you are
in any way opposed to president Trump. Here are the things Micah Lee
mentions that could be improved by very many - and each of the points
is the heading of considerably more text, that you can read by clicking
the last of the above dotted links:
And I disagree in that I think only a small minority
is capable of setting up a computer which they may be reasonably sure
cannot be read - and then in each of these cases that will be a guess,
because the NSA and the GCHQ have had 15 years of liberty to break in
everywhere and steal everyone's inofrmation, and no one knows what they
really know, although in these circumstances the fair inference is:
Probably everything (and more about you than you recall yourself about your self).
Encrypt Your Phone
Ditch Your Phone At Sensitive Moments
Switch from Facebook Groups To End-to-End
Prioritize Security When Building
Secure Your Accounts and Computer
Use Qubes To Protect Your Computer
I do NOT think present-day internet computers or cellphones are safe,
and I fear very few can say with any rational certainty that they are
not being - somehow - pirated.
So I would try to do without internet computers or cellphones. I do
know this will be extremely difficult.
"Genuinely Terrifying Prospect": Greenwald on Palin, Giuliani &
Bolton Serving in Trump's Cabinet
The third item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts with the following
As Trump heads to the White House,
Trump’s transition team has assembled a shortlist of who could make up
Trump’s Cabinet. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey
Governor Chris Christie are among those in consideration for attorney
general. Christie is also being considered for homeland security
secretary, as is Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke. Secretary of the
interior might go to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin or oil
executive Forrest Lucas. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and former
House Speaker Newt Gingrich are in the running for secretary of state.
Donald Trump is also expected to quickly nominate a conservative
Supreme Court justice to fill the seat left vacant by the death of
Yes, indeed. Here is Greenwald, but he
does not have much at present (which is considerably more honest than
all the "leftist" organizers who are organizing rallies against Trump now):
I don’t think we’ve even begun to process or analyze the actual
repercussions of that.
And then, when you go to this sort of
second-order horror, it’s almost like a wicked nightmare, like the
worst—like Sarah Palin as the secretary of interior, or Rudy Giuliani,
who I’ve long regarded as probably the most authoritarian and
borderline fascist mainstream figure in American political life, to be
the attorney general in charge of the prosecutorial power and the FBI, or Chris Christie, a lifelong prosecutor, in
charge of the mechanisms of homeland security, or John Bolton, one of
the most sociopathic warmongers on the planet, in charge of
anything—these are genuinely terrifying prospects. And so, no, I don’t
have much intelligent to say about that, because I haven’t really
started to even accept it yet.
And there is this on Guantánamo (which
wasn't shut by Obama, although he promised to do so for eight years):
AMY GOODMAN: Expand Guantánamo.
GLENN GREENWALD: —a huge question mark. To
expand Guantánamo and to essentially embrace all of the components of
the war on terror. So, I think that it really remains to be seen. I
think it probably will be the case that there will be moments when the
D.C. elite will be demanding that we intervene militarily, where
Hillary Clinton would have been tempted to do so and Donald Trump
won’t. And maybe that’s, on balance, in a very isolated way, something
that’s positive. But the idea of putting into someone like this’ hands
the military of the United States and all of its might and the spying
apparatuses, I think, is extremely alarming.
Yes, indeed. And Trump is much for
torturing people worse than by nearly drowning them again and again and
4. Can We Count on the Election Results? Exit Poll
Discrepancies and Voter Suppression Are Serious Issues
The fourth item is by Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet:
is here mostly because I have written before on the possibility that
the American elections were being rigged by fraudulent countings of the
That continues today, as election
integrity activists point
out that the national media’s election day exit polls found
that Hillary Clinton was ahead in four key states — North Carolina,
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida — but lost the computerized vote
count. That’s not the first time a “red shift” occurred between live
exit poll results posted on CNN and the later vote count results.
That suggests the exit
polls were either
deeply flawed, or the vote count was compromised or stolen.
They curtailed early voting, moved precincts, inaccurately purged voter
rolls, and made perplexing decisions—as in Ohio—not to activate
voting machine audit software, which means the results cannot be
I say, and Ohio is indeed
"perplexing", while I agree that "the exit polls were either
deeply flawed, or the vote count was compromised or stolen".
And here is something about voting in North Carolina:
What they didn’t hear
about but what alarmed some computer scientists
who track voting machinery, was the vendor
that maintains North Carolina’s voter files was in all probability the
“unnamed” Florida-based company hacked
by the Russians. You can be sure nobody is quarantining those computer
systems for immediate examination by computer security experts.
I say. Then again, voting has happened.
There is this on voting in general:
Americans are told to
take it on faith that the election results are
accurate, from the highest-stakes presidential elections to
lower-turnout state races that keep legislatures in one party’s grip.
That’s infuriating, patronizing and unnecessary. The alternative is
simple: voting needs to be transparent, verifiable and accountable from
the start of the process to the end. Instead, it’s just like the
dysfunctional campaign finance system.
I agree, but this doesn't
exist in the USA. Here is Rosenfeld's ending:
But there are still
unanswered questions about what really happened
this week with the vote count and it does not appear that key actors
there want to air what’s inevitably dirty laundry. It is astounding
that the major television and print media organizations that force-fed
Americans all their polling data for months, to say nothing of giving
Trump hundreds of millions of dollars in free media, will not discuss
why their exit polls projecting a Clinton victory were wrong.
No, I don't think so: I do
not think at all that "[i]t is astounding
that the major television and print media organizations (..) will not discuss
why their exit polls projecting a Clinton victory were wrong":
The major television and print media organizations = the mainstream
media, and the mainstream media have been thoroughly corrupted the past
15 years and ceased doing decent journalism.
In brief, while it is possible that Trump's winning was based on fraud,
I do not think there will be any evidence that will prove it.
TPP's "Cardiac Arrest": A Lesson for the Challenges of the Trump Years
This starts as follows:
The fifth item is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
trade deal between the U.S. and 11
Pacific Rim nations that sparked progressive outcry over its threats to
to digital rights to climate
goals —now appears to be "in full-blown cardiac arrest."
Not only is there the
against the deal that President Barack Obama vigorously
pushed, multiple news sources reported Friday that the White House
has now given up on its efforts to get approval during the "lame-duck"
session of Congress.
The Wall Street
that the deal "effectively died Friday, as Republican and Democratic
leaders in Congress told the White House they won't advance it in the
election's aftermath, and Obama administration officials acknowledged
it has no way forward now." Reuters reported
that the administration said "Friday that the fate of the free trade
pact was up to Trump and Republican lawmakers."
I say! I think myself that
is very good
news (for I regard the TPP, the TTIP, the TISA and the CETA all as
plans to move in neofascism in a quasi-legal way: Check out the crisis
indices for the last 3 1/2 years if you want to know more).
Then again, there are some
who live with their heads in the clouds:
"Let's make one thing
Evan Greer, campaign director for digital rights group Fight for the
Future. "Donald Trump didn't kill the TPP. We did."
The deal, she continued,
"globalized Internet censorship, undermined civil liberties, and
devastated our economy and our planet."
movement of people and organizations from across the political spectrum
came together to spark an uprising that stopped what would have been
nothing less than an outright corporate takeover of our democratic
process. Together we sounded the alarm, and made the TPP so politically
toxic that no presidential candidate who wanted to be elected could
"As we enter a new stage
in history, let
the movement that stopped the TPP serve as a reminder to the powerful:
we are many, and you are few," she continued.
No, definitely not. I have
been following the TPP,
the TTIP, the TISA and the CETA closely, and it seems highly probable
that if Hillary Clinton had won the elections, the TPP and the rest
(and the CETA has been accepted by the Europeans: I hope this will be
given up very soon) would have very probably succeeded.
Ms Greer, who no doubt
worked hard against the TPP etc., may think as she pleases, but these
are the facts according to me.
6. An Absurd and Dangerous President
The sixth and last item is by Klaus Brinkbäumer on Spiegel
This has the following in
I agree that Trump is "dangerously indifferent,
unbalanced and inexperienced -- and he is dangerously racist" but I do mostly because I (who had an excellent M.A. in
psychology) believe Trump is insane.
Although Trump will
democratically elected 45th president of the United States on January
20, he remains a dangerous man. He is dangerously indifferent,
unbalanced and inexperienced -- and he is dangerously racist. Trump
believes in the superiority of the white race, and if he implements the
worst of his campaign promises, he will not be the first elected leader
to do so.
In other words, 60
million Americans acted
stupidly. They cast their votes for xenophobia, racism and nationalism,
the end of equal rights and social conscience, for the end of climate
treaties and health insurance. Sixty million people followed a
demagogue who will do little for them.
And I admit this goes considerably further than diagnosing him as "dangerously
unbalanced and inexperienced", although
he is these things as well.
But then again, I did study psychology; I have met quite a few people
who were not sane, and I think Trump is not sane. (See March 14, 2016
for some of my reasons.)
Next, as to "60 million
stupidly": I can say so, but I
am a highly gifted radical intellectual with a couple of hundreds of
readers every day,
which means that my opinions tend to be the opinions of a quite small,
albeit gifted, interested and concerned minority.
And while I do not disagree with Spiegel on this diagnosis, I doubt it
was wise. Then again, I agree that speaking the truth generally is
Here is the ending of the article:
was about the impotent and
about power. Trump, be it strategically or accidentally, understood
that the army of the powerless was so enormous that it could become a
movement and carry him into the White House. He knew well what he was
risking -- the possibility that, in their rage, they would set fires,
break all rules and, as a result, could destroy democracy. In America.
And, following the election of this absurd president, potentially
around the world.
Hm. I certainly do
know what Trump "understood", and I very much doubt Brinkbäumer knows
any better than I do. But I agree Trump is very, very dangerous, and
indeed not only for the USA but for absolutely everyone.
As I have said before: I
think "the people" may consider themselves very lucky if they survive
until 2021 without any nuclear war.
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 am saying
this not because I want to
offend but because I want to explain,
and my own explanatory definition of neofascism is this:
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
And this is
fascism as I
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with centralized authority and a dictator, that
suppresses the opposition through propaganda, censorship and terror,
that propounds an ethics founded
on discipline, virility, and collectivism, that has a politics that is
totalitarian, anti-liberal, anti-individualist,
anti-equality, and anti-Marxist, that is also authoritarian,
rightwing and nationalistic, and often racist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy, b. A political philosophy or movement based on or
advocating such a social system.
following if you are interested: On Fascism
and Neofascism: Definitions.
(This lists 22 definitions of the term "fascism", and critically
reflects on them.)