1. Media Stars Agree to
Off-the-Record Meeting With
2. Being Led by an Outright Conspiracy Theorist Like
Donald Trump Puts Us All in
3. 'People Are Going to
Die': Father of Wounded DAPL
Activist Sophia Wilansky
4. Trump Just Put Net Neutrality on Death Row
5. How Journalists Need to Begin Imagining the
is a Nederlog of Thursday, November 24, 2016.
is a crisis
log with 5 items and 5 dotted links and it consists (mostly) of some
further deliberations on the meanings of Trump's election as president
Item 1 is about an article by Glenn
Greenwald on Trump and the American press; item 2
is about some ideas by dr. Mark Hoofnagle about Trump; item
is about the seriously wounded Sophia Wilansky, and may be seen as a
promise of how the police will react to protesters under president
Trump; item 4 is about the fact that Trump doesn't
like net neutrality and nominated two underlings who don't either; and item 5 is about some further ideas of Gessen.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It keeps being horrible most days. And it
still does (on 11 - 17.xi.2016). 18.xi. was correct as
was 19.xi. 20.xi again was a stinking mess, as was 21.xi and 22.xi.
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
before nor on 13.xi.2016. It was OK on 14.xi.2016 and on 15.xi.2016.
But not on 16 and 17 xi.
18.xi. was correct as were 19, 20, 21 and 22.xi. (I
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. (And this is not "automatic": it
changes from day to day.)
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. Media Stars Agree to
Off-the-Record Meeting With Trump
The first item today is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept (and I
abbreviated the title a bit):
This starts as follows:
A glittering array of media
stars and network executives made pilgrimage
on Monday to the 25th floor of Trump Tower to meet with the
president-elect. They all agreed that the discussions would be
“off the record”: meaning they would conceal from their
viewers what they discussed. Shortly after the meeting ended,
several of the stars violated the agreement they made, running to
the New York Post and David
Remnick of the New Yorker to whine about Trump’s mean behavior.
“The participants all shook Trump’s hand at the start of the session
and congratulated him,” Remnick reported, “but things went south from
there.” It’s difficult to identify the shabbiest and sorriest aspect of
this spectacle, but let’s nonetheless try, as it sheds
important light on our nation’s beloved media corps and their
posture heading into a Trump presidency.
I think this refers to the
following from The New York Times Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview: Full Transcript that was in yesterday's NYT. I have read all of
that yesterday. It is supposed to be a "full transcript", but in fact
because - as the transcript does document - at one point Trump desired
to speak off the record, and then was allowed to do do. What he said
and how long it took are not documented. (I must add I am not
quite certain it was this interview that Greenwald addresses in
As to the content of the interview: I found it mostly quite obsequious
and complimentary to Trump, but then I must add that I do not
expect much of the present NYT or indeed of the present The Guardian:
Both are now good examples of the mainstream media, and the
mainstream media are dishonest, though indeed it varies also with the
subject and with the journalist.
Here is Glenn Greenwald on suppressing
To begin with, why would journalistic
organizations agree to keep their meeting with Donald Trump off
the record? If you’re a journalist, what is the point of speaking
with a powerful politician if you agree in advance that it’s all going
to be kept secret? Do they not care what appearance this creates: the
most powerful media organizations meeting high atop Trump Tower
with the country’s most powerful political official, with everyone
agreeing to keep it all a big secret from the public? Whether or not
it actually is collusion, whether or not it actually is
subservient ring-kissing in exchange for access, it certainly appears
to be that. As the Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone put
it: “By agreeing to such conditions, journalists expected to
deliver the news to the public must withhold details of a newsworthy
meeting with the president-elect.”
I quite agree. There is some more on this
topic, which I don't quite agree with, but I leave that to your
Here is Greenwald - a bit sarcastically - on "the U.S. media":
(..) I’m really sorry to be the bearer
of bad news, but yes: Donald Trump hates the U.S. media, as do the
overwhelming majority of Americans.
Even though every pampered star in that room is paid many millions of
dollars a year and is flattered on a daily basis by teams of
underlings, they are not actually entitled to respect and admiration, especially
not from the powerful politicians
As I have said quite a few times in
Nederlog, I don't have a TV since 1970 and I don't live in the USA, so
my experience of "the U.S. media" is mostly limited to internet. (But I
do read around 35 internet magazines, papers etc. daily,
and most of these are from the USA.)
And I do make a distinction in
"the U.S. media" which isn't covered in Greenwald's article,
namely between the mainstream media (the NYT, CNN, MSNBC etc.
etc.) and the non-mainstrean media (Truthdig, Common Dreams,
Mother Jones, The Young Turks etc. etc.)
And while I usually don't like much of
what I see in the mainstream media, I usually like (more or less) what
I see in non-mainstream media. Both are broad judgements, but
that is what it comes down to, for me at least, and I also expect from
other intelligent and educated (!) non- Americans who are interested in
the USA and follow the news about it critically on internet.
Here is - probably - the thing that upset
Greenwald most of all, and I think he is right in this:
Finally, after everything Trump has said
— about immigrants, Muslims, women, etc. — this is what upsets
these journalists: that he criticized them to their faces using
a mean tone.
Yes, indeed, and this is also specifically
about (bolding added) "these
journalists": Most of them are themselves rich men and women, who
mostly made their money from journalism, and who all belong to the top
of the top of American mainstream journalists.
And I agree with Greenwald that they
seemed to care most about being criticized themselves in a mean tone by
the presidential elect.
Here is Glenn Greenwald's conclusion about
these journalists and their mainstream media:
Yes indeed - and as I said, I do get
most of the news I review from the non- mainstream media.
All presidents have the temptation and
potential to abuse their power. That’s why the American founders were
preoccupied with creating safeguards against that, and one of those was
a free press. The homage these TV stars and executives were prepared to
make inside Trump Tower, followed by their self-absorbed whimpering
afterward, suggests that one should look elsewhere for the vital
checks that an aggressive press must provide.
Then again, there is an important question that I will only
pose and not answer right now: Will Donald Trump try to break the
non-mainstream media that presently function in the USA?
It is an important question, in part because the non-mainstream media
are not rich, and Trump is supposed to be very rich, and will
be the most powerful man on earth from January 20, 2017.
2. Being Led by an Outright
Conspiracy Theorist Like Donald Trump Puts Us All in Danger
The second item is by Amanda Marcotte on AlterNet and originally on Salon:
This starts as follows:
Our new president-elect, Donald
Trump, is a thin-skinned bully, a liar, a grifter, a crappy businessman
and a misogynist. He mainstreams white supremacist ideas and his
initial White House hires suggest that white nationalism will be his administration’s guiding
ideology. He’s far too ill-tempered and narcissistic to be in
charge of the nuclear codes and he’s openly hostile to the free press
protections necessary to keep our government accountable.
I think that is a fair summary, though I
probably would have added - being a psychologist - that narcissism, as
Trump has it, is a rather serious personality disorder.
There is more on Trump that I leave to your interests. Amanda Marcotte
talked with (it seems) a medical doctor who is claimed to be "a
conspiracy expert" (he runs the Denialism Blog) and is
making the following point, to start with:
The first problem, he explained,
is that conspiracy theorists who are as deep in the muck as Trump
have no real interest in making decisions or forming beliefs based on
evidence. “This is the way the conspiracist thinks: The desire for a
fact to be true precedes the research or the evidentiary basis,”
Hoofnagle said. “They think in reverse. They start with the conclusion
and assemble the facts to fit that conclusion and reject everything
that doesn’t. It’s the opposite of logical reasoning.”
Yes, but that is not "the opposite of logical reasoning":
in fact, that is abduction
and every real scientist uses it to find a hypothesis (or
several) that could explain the fact he wants to
What makes Trump and other conspiracy theories special is that he and
they stop there, and believe they have explained the
fact they want to explain. If they were rational, they
would know that they must proceed by testing the
hypothesis or hypotheses they found, by logically deriving
predicted other facts from their hypotheses, and by seeing
whether these new derived possible facts in do occur
experimentally. If they do, they confirmed their hypothesis; if they
don't they disconfirm their hypothesis.
And Trump and other conspiracy theorists simply do not do this,
all they do is set up totally untested hypotheses (which may be
realistic or not) which they also - usually at least - strongly
believe to be true ("for don't they entail the facts they wanted to
It is utter nonsense, but not quite for the reason dr. Hoofnagle and
Amanda Marcotte seem to think.
There is considerably more in the article, but at this point part of
the text got repeated on AlterNet. Here is Hoofnagle as
explained by Marcotte on Trump's strong inclination to surrect
The president-elect is so
guided by wishful thinking that he coughs up fully formed conspiracy
theories at the drop of a hat. The protesters outside of Trump Tower
after the election irritated the real estate magnate, and so he
produced a conspiracy theory that claimed they were being paid to
protest him. Every time he slipped in the polls during the campaign or
it looked like he wouldn’t win the election, he shot off accusations
that a shadowy conspiracy between the mainstream media and the
Democratic Party was somehow “rigging” the election against him.
Yes indeed, and Hoofnagle and Marcotte
are correct Trump in fact engages in wishful
thinking, which I defined as follows in my Philosophical
Wishful thinking: The
inference of conclusions that conform to one's desires because
they conform to one's
desires: "It is so, because I desire it to be so; it
is not so, because I desire it not to be so."
That is indeed how Donald Trump and
most strongly ideological people think: By imagining what satisfies
their desires, by believing their fantasies to be true because they
entail (or suggest) the facts they desired to explain, and by
systematically never testing the truth of their fantasies.
of Wishful Thinking: I desire it were true, therefore it
This is the fundamental
principle of invalid reasoning, and it should be clear why this is so
and why no human being spends a day or an hour without some wishful
thinking: Because wishful thinking yields what human beings wish, and
gives them satisfaction and pleasure, even if this is merely fantasy,
and because human beings desire so much to get what they please that
things are as they desire to
believe they are is a sufficiently strong motive to
make them believe
desire, and to act on that belief.
It is the real basis of each political ideology and
Normally, it goes together with
the active refusal to seriously consider the reasoned arguments of
Here is more on how nearly all wishful thinking is driven by an
As Hoofnagle explained, most
conspiracy theorists organize themselves around an ideology, and they
tend to be forgiving of any crank idea so long as it justifies that
Yes, indeed - and I also have a clear
definition of what ideologies are in my Philosophical
Ideology: System of ideas that normally
is a simplification of some political philosophy or
that consists of ideas about what reality is (metaphysics)
and ideals about what reality and human
beings should be like (ethics).
Ideologies - if perhaps very
simple and partial, as those that are meant to keep together the
employees of a firm - are the basis of almost any human group,
since these only can come to be and continue to exist in a coordinated
fashion if the members of the group share assumptions, values and ends about what is
and should be, and what the group is for or against.
Most ideologies are either
or are at least experienced and practiced as if they are - as anybody
can see by observing party conferences, soccer hooligans, and public
statements of priests,
politicians and clergy.
Then again, Donald Trump's
person is not that of just any ideologist or wishful thinker,
for he comes with an extra complication: He is a megalomaniac  aka a grandiose
This is a personality
disorder, which in Trump's case seems to entail that he is strongly
inclined to consider himself The Greatest in most everything
(which is an absolutely false idea ).
Here is Hoofnagle on two of its consequences:
With Trump, however, the
organizing ideology seems to be “a kind of self-aggrandizement,”
“He’s clearly very vindictive. I don’t
think the central ideology here is political,” Hoofnagle said. “His
central ideology is that he’s great. If you tell him that, he’ll
believe anything else you say.”
Yes, it is my own guess that Hoofnagle is
right that the central ideology that Donald Trump is committed to is
that Donald Trump
is The Greatest,
which also entails for him (because he is a megalomaniac)
that anybody who doubts this must be a bad person, who needs
Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:
Yes, that seems a very plausible
to me. And this is a recommended article (though you should be aware
that it repeats 3 paragraphs in the middle of the article).
“Power generally aggravates people’s
personality flaws,” Hoofnagle said. “When you have fewer people to say
no to you, your worst traits come out.”
Many presidents try to check their own
tendencies by hiring people willing to criticize them. But it’s safe to
say that this won’t be the case with Trump. On the contrary, his habit
of surrounding himself with sycophants and yes-men means that
there will be even fewer checks on his conspiracist tendencies.
3. 'People Are Going to Die': Father of Wounded DAPL
Activist Sophia Wilansky Speaks Out
The third item is by
Nika Knight on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows (and is here
mostly because I guess that this is going to be very common
under President Trump):
police assault against peaceful Dakota
Access Pipeline activists left one water protector, Sophia
risk of losing an arm, and her distraught father spoke out Tuesday
and Wednesday against the shocking show of force and demanded
Wayne Wilansky, a 61-year-old lawyer and
yoga teacher from New York City, spoke to a reporter in a Facebook live
feed about his daughter's devastating injury, allegedly caused by a
"This is the wound of someone who's a
warrior, who was sent to fight in a war," Wayne said. "It's not
supposed to be a war. She's peacefully trying to get people to not
destroy the water supply. And they're trying to kill her."
Most of the muscle tissue between
Sophia's left elbow and wrist as well as two major arteries were
completely destroyed, Wayne said, and doctors pulled shrapnel out of
I say. Here is some more:
I fear this is also correct. Here is the
implication that I started the review of this article with:
And Sophia's injury was no accident,
"The police did not do this by—it was an
intentional act of throwing it directly at her," he said in a statement
released by the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council. "Additionally
police were shooting people in face and groin intending to do the most
(..) Obama is swiftly running out
of time to act, and observers fear
that the brutality of the Morton County Sheriff's Department in North
Dakota may be a harbinger of what's to come under the looming Donald
"Standing Rock has for months been a
frontline in the fights for indigenous sovereignty and against reckless
journalist Kate Aronoff. "It may also now be the frontline of Trump's
Forget about Obama: He will very probably
do nothing, and if he does something, he ceases to be president in less
than two months time.
I think this may well be an indication of how
the police under Trump as president is going to react to protesters:
As if they are terrorists
- in spite of the fact that they are peaceful and carry no arms.
4. Trump Just
Put Net Neutrality on Death Row
The fourth item is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Open internet advocates this week
expressed concern that Present-elect Donald Trump's
two appointments to his Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
transition team spell doom for net neutrality.
That policy, approved
in a 2015 FCC ruling, ensures a level playing field on the internet by
preventing internet service providers (ISP) from creating "fast lanes"
that give special treatment for content creators or web companies that
pay extra fees. The ruling was hailed as "the biggest win for the
public interest in the FCC's history."
The Trump transition site announced
the appointments of former Verizon consultant Jeff Eisenach and former
Sprint lobbyist Mark Jamison Monday. Like Trump, the two are critics of
My own guess is that this heralds the
of the neutral internet and it does so mostly because the rich will
become even richer if they have fast access and everyone who is not
rich does not have fast access.
This ends as follows:
Anne Jellema, CEO of the World Wide Web
Foundation, also expressed concern, telling
the Guardian that the "appointments certainly don't look like
good news for net neutrality."
"But President-elect Trump has promised
to be a 'president for all Americans,'" she added. "If he's serious
about this promise, we trust the transition team will pay heed to the
over three million comments submitted just last year by Americans of
all political stripes calling for strong net neutrality, and will
respect the recent decision by a federal appeals court to uphold the
FCC's Open Internet order."
to Chris Lewis, vice president at Public Knowledge, "if folks want
to eliminate these very important consumer protections that are wildly
popular across ideological lines, the question is how are
they going to protect an open internet if they eliminate these rules?"
Ms Jellema sounds extremely naive to me:
First, because she trusts Trump's promises, and second because she
thinks any transition team will pay heed to three million tweets.
As to Chris Lewis's comments: I fear "an
open internet" is lost under Trump as president.
O, and of course, everyone will
keep internet, but not to help them, but to allow the
secret services to know everything about them. Again, this will not
hurt the vast majority, because the vast majority is not
intelligent, not courageous, and quite willing to conform as
long as they are left alone.
5. How Journalists Need to Begin Imagining the Unimaginable
The fifth and last item today is by Eric Umansky on ProPublica:
This is from near the beginning:
A few days after Trump’s win,
Gessen wrote about what
citizens should be on the watch for with the incoming
administration. ProPublica’s Eric Umansky and Jesse Eisinger sat down
with Gessen to talk about how exactly journalists should be covering
I did review Gessen's article, and it is
here: Crisis: Greenwald, Reich, Sanders,
Gessen, My P.S. I also think this was a very good article
(and you should read it or my review if you didn't).
And this article consists of 4 points that I will repeat with a few
bits of text, but
I guess the interview with Gessen went less well (but this is
my guess - see below, and look at the nonsensical title: no one can
"imagine the unimaginable").
In any case, here is the first point:
Journalists needed to
realize Trump wasn’t playing chess…
Yes, Trump is an autocrat (which
entails he is an anti-democrat) and Gessen is right that the
way to deal with a presidential candidate who is an evident autocrat is
"to look at what has happened to other countries
when politicians have run in democratic elections for autocrat". But the American journalists by
I think that it would have been a story
about how Donald Trump was running for autocrat. I think at that point
there should have been a big journalistic break with American
exceptionalism and that's where we would have gone to other countries
to look at what has happened to other countries when politicians have
run in democratic elections for autocrat. It's happened many times and
it's succeeded many times.
and large did not.
There is next this:
There was a collective failure
What happened was an American phenomenon, a home-grown potential
autocrat who was elected by Americans.
Gessen's answer is as before, so all I
need to say here is that "a collective
failure of imagination" seems both
unclear and nonsensical to me. (What would have been far more
correct is to point at the stupidity and ignorance
of very many voters.)
Something similar is true of the following bit:
Journalists should look at how
this has played out in other countries...
I would look at the world and I would
look for parallels.
Gessen repeats herself again (it seems),
so I can say here that this is why I think the interview with
Gessen went less well. But the last point does contain something new:
This is a bit problematical, because - real -
are true as well,
but I think I can reconstrue what Gessen may have had in mind:
The job for journalists now is
to document changing norms...
We really have to figure out how to tell
the truth and not just report the facts.
First, many of "the facts" that the mainstream media report on are
by quoting a pro source (of those who are for the supposed fact) and an
anti source (of those who are against it), which is supposed by
most journalists in the mainstream media to support objectivity and
In fact, it does neither (and the supposed fact may also not be
a real fact): All
it means is that journalists can answer their critics by saying they
quoted somebody for and somebody against (while leaving nearly all
further relevant questions unasked).
Second, "the truth"
indeed is far wider than mere specific facts that amount to
so-and-so said or did such-and-such: You need general ideas
about power, about honesty, and quite a few more)
to tease out what specific facts - that so-and-so
said or did such-and- such - do mean and imply in the
supposed wider context
(that comprises politics, ideologies, democracy, power and honesty, at least).
I agree with Gessen (if my reconstruction is correct), and I very
probably also agree with what I suppose is her fear about most American
They are able to report on specific facts, but mostly lack
the knowledge, the insights and the understandings that would enable
them to report on the truth and/or the wider context and implications
of the facts they report.
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.
Also, I am
rather certain that most (not: all) of those who style
themselved as "neoliberals" in fact are neofascists as defined
(even though they probably do not like the term).
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.)
 I repeat a note of yesterday:
I have earlier
- starting on March
14, last - called Trump by the correct
present-day psychiatric/psychological term "grandiose narcissist", but
I decided now to call him a megalomaniac, because this is a
- I think - than the other term, though indeed megalomania in Wikipedia
links to "narcissistic personality disorder" and seems meanwhile also
to have deleted the item "megalomania" (which still was there
I think that deletion was a mistake, but I do not
between megalomania and grandiose narcissism (for the purpose of
diagnosing Trump): I only insist megalomania is a bit clearer,
a bit simpler, and very probably better known than
grandiose narcissism, and that is my reason for preferring
The greatest geniuses - Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are two fair
examples - were geniuses in two things. Much more in general:
Even if you are very intelligent, very attractive and very rich (say)
it is extremely likely that for any of your good qualities that
you take pride in, there is someone (and usually there are many or
quite a few) who are better than you are in the specific good
quality you take pride in.
This simply is a fact of life, and indeed is also one of the main
reasons why Trump's ideas about his very many excellencies are utter
 This is
based on the description of megalomania. If you want to know more, check
this out (but remember it is psychiatry, which is mostly not a real
science like physics or chemistry).
As to the idea that anybody who doubts
that the megalomaniac is as great as he thinks he is must be a bad
person: This is what Trump
seems to think. He hates being criticized. One of the many
reasons why this is nonsense is that people may agree on all the
yet have quite opposite values.