1. Trump Receives
Right-Wing Wish List to Gut Rules on
Climate, Nutrition, Wages
2. James Clapper Has a Classified Blog. It’s Called
3. Fountainhead of Bad Ideas: Ayn Rand's Fanboys Take
the Reins of Power
4. Making Russia ‘The Enemy’
5. The 4 Syndromes of
Passivity in the Face of Pending
is a Nederlog of Friday, December 16, 2016.
is a crisis
log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is
about a right-wing wish list for Trump; item 2 is
about Clapper, who has a blog (that is only accessible to "the intelligence
community"); item 3 is about Ayn Rand, whose values
and philosophy - Greed Is Good - are shared by many members of Trump's cabinet; item 4 is about Russia as "The Enemy", which is
currently mostly a Democratic project; and item 5
is about an article by Reich (that uses a mistaken medical term).
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It keeps being horrible most days and was so on most days in
But on 2.xii and 3.xii it was correct. Since then it mostly wasn't
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 was so-so till 18.xi
and was correct since then (most or all days).
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. Trump Receives Right-Wing Wish List to Gut Rules on
Climate, Nutrition, Wages
The first item
today is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows, after a
subtitle that reads "...and more!" and under a photo from the
Depression-era of men standing in line for free soup:
A wish list from the conservative House
Freedom Caucus delivered to President-elect Donald Trump recommends
dismantling a whopping 232 Obama administration rules and regulations
that govern everything from school lunches and ceiling fans to net neutrality
and the minimum wage for federal contract workers.
It would overturn restrictions on oil
exploration and coal
extraction on federally owned land, repeal the Affordable Care
Act's birth control mandate, and end executive actions protecting
undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. It would
"cancel U.S. commitments to the Paris Agreement,"
move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and ax recent
guidelines from the Office of Civil Rights related to transgender
and gender-nonconforming students.
I say. In fact, the photo with which this
article starts - men waiting in line in the Depression-era to get some
free soup - is the front cover of the wish list of the House
Freedom Caucus, and I think myself that this is a fair indication of
what the House Freedom Cause wants: The
freedoms for the rich to utterly destroy the poor.
You may doubt this, and I both agree that
this is my guess and that this is (as yet) a wish list and not (yet, at least) a Trumpian government plan. But here is
some more from "the wish list":
It also proposes eliminating the Office
of Global Climate Change; the Under Secretary for Civilian Security,
Democracy, and Human Rights; and the Special Envoy for Climate Change,
all within the State Department—which is set to be headed by ExxonMobil
The 21-page list,
posted Wednesday by caucus chair and Trump
supporter Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), seeks to "undo Obama's
harmful regulatory regime," according
to a tweet from the caucus. This is in keeping with Trump's campaign
And this is again because neoliberals and
neofascists love deregulating all laws that protect the poor from
exploitation and abuse by the rich, indeed ever since Reagan and Bill Clinton, both of who were enthusiastic deregulators (which made Bill a multi-millionaire).
Here is yet more:
Meanwhile, the Washington Post
caucus members "advise several measures for allowing lower wages,
including waiving the Davis-Bacon Act, ending the Obama
administration's overtime rule (currently tied up in court), and ending
tougher classification of contractors in part because it
'disproportionately hurts independent contractors like Uber and Lyft.'
Republicans also suggest ending paid sick leave for federal
to Bloomberg, "a spate of regulations from the
Environmental Protection Agency, ranging from pollution standards for
power plants to ozone reduction requirements," are also up for gutting.
As I said, for the moment this is just a
conservative wish list. But together with the cabinet Trump has put
together, which consists of billionaires and generals, Trump's
presidency promises to be what I have been warning against for a long
time now: A real neofascistic American government that will do
2. James Clapper Has a Classified
Blog. It’s Called “Intercept.”
can do to help the rich and destroy very many of the poor by driving
them to suicide (namely: by denying them any money).
The second item is by Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
During his tenure as the director
of national intelligence, James Clapper has maintained a classified
blog. It’s called “Intercept,” and is only accessible to
people within the intelligence community with clearance to access the
government inte[r]link site. It even offers a secret RSS feed so
analysts will never miss a post. Clapper’s Intercept blog has no
relationship to The Intercept, except that he hates pretty much
everything we stand for. In one of his posts, written in May 2013 and
obtained by The Intercept, Clapper posted a handwritten letter he
says he received from “a constituent in Nevada.”
I say, for I didn't know that Clapper has a
classified blog he calls "Intercept" (but in fact he did so before
Jeremy Scahill's "The Intercept" was launched, which happened in
Here is part of the "handwritten letter" that Clapper posted:
“If the american [sic] people are
not willing to release some freedoms, they cannot blame the IC when
they can’t stop” domestic terror attacks because of the intelligence
agencies “having their hands tied by Law [sic] & policy,” the
“constituent” wrote. He adds that Americans “cannot have your cake and
eat it too,” and then offers what has become a dangerous cliche in
the post-Snowden mentality of the intelligence community: “So if one
has nothing to hide why would a little government watching for mass
protection be such a big question.”
Incidentally: If the first argument were
correct, why not restate it as "If the American people are not willing
to release all freedoms and all rights in the
battle against terrorism, then they cannot blame the Intelligence
Second, the not very literate writer also seems to confuse "your cake"
and "their cake".
And third, only extremely stupid and extremely ignorant people believe
that they "have nothing to hide" (from totally anonymous assholes in one
of the secret servives?!) - but a man like Clapper is wildly
enthusiastic about receiving this mail, which is probably why he
Then again, there was some opposition to Clapper from inside the
intellligence "community" , which was also on Clapper's blog (!):
That is all correct, though far from
sensational. But it is - it seems - by someone who works inside
the intelligence "community" , which makes it a little interesting.
Among the points Wormy made:
- “Ridding ourselves of
certain rights, such as those outlined by the 4th amendment, will absolutely
not guarantee our security or freedom from attack.”
- “Always be careful about
surrendering rights. History shows that governments don’t have a great
track record of giving them back once they’ve taken them. You may think
your government is different, but that’s just a perception created by
the fact that the American people have fought tooth and nail to see
their rights are protected.”
Here is the end of Wormy's contribution to Clapper's blog:
It seems to me that Wormy is probably fairly
young (in his twenties), which I infer from "incredible sacrifices",
"tremendous hardships" and "sacred rights", but I may be mistaken.
“The Constitution and the
Bill of Rights have survived for centuries, defended by courageous man
and women both in the armed forces, in various civil rights movements,
and just individual citizens standing up for themselves and others.
They have made incredible sacrifices and endured tremendous hardships
to pass these sacred rights down to you. Do you want to be part of the
generation that threw it all out because a group of Islamic radicals is
posing a threat to you that statistically doesn’t even come close to
the threat posed to you by lightening [sic]?”
Wormy seems mistaken to me to attribute the wishes of James Clapper and
a sizeable part of his own intelligence "community" to "the
generation", but is right in quoting the very small chances that
Americans will get hit by "terrorists": Indeed these are smaller than
the chance that the same are hit by lightning.
What does this prove? Not much, according to me, for I never doubted
that most of the mathematicians that are hired by the NSA are capable
of thinking. Then again, I also thought and think Edward Snowden is an
extra-ordinary man, and indeed so far I have seen no evidence others
who work for the NSA followed his
Perhaps there may be some more if Trump turns out to be a tyrant, as
Robert Reich seems to think - and see item 5.
3. Fountainhead of Bad Ideas: Ayn Rand's Fanboys Take the
Reins of Power
The third item is by Heather Digby Parton on
AlterNet and originally on Salon:
This starts as follows:
For a man who ran for president
on a supposedly populist platform, Donald Trump sure has appointed a
lot of extremely wealthy businesspeople to his administration.
I must say that I doubt the second paragraph,
for I believe Trump has an ideology: he is a neofascist in the
following sense (and this is my definition, about which you can read
The truth is that nobody really understands
why Trump is choosing the people he’s choosing, not even him. Reports
indicate that it’s a capricious process, and no one is sure
if there’s even a cursory vetting of the choices. Because so many of
these people have no government experience there is little sense of the
worldviews and philosophies that guide them.
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.
Donald Trump qualifies as one in nearly every aspect, except that right
now he is not yet president, and is not yet suppressing opposition to
him. Otherwise, it all checks.
Also, the worldviews and "philosophies" of those he selected seems
fairly clear from the fact that many are billionaires or generals: It
is similar to his own.
Then again, there is also this:
On Tuesday, however, James Hohmann of The Washington Post identified
a common thread among the businessmen, including Trump, which
should have been obvious from the beginning. They are fanboys of Ayn
Rand, the patron saint of selfish adolescents and titans of industry.
I agree, but I must add others did the same:
Yesterday I reviewed an article by Kali Holloway from AlterNet who said
the same. I'll return to that, but first there is Trump Himself
(written with a capital "H" because Trump is - he thinks - The Greatest
Of The Great):
Finally, Trump himself has
claimed to be a Rand follower, as he discussed with Kirsten Powers
in a USA Today interview:
Trump described himself as an Ayn Rand
fan. He said of her novel “The Fountainhead,” “It relates to business
(and) beauty (and) life and inner emotions. That book relates to . .
. everything.” He identified with Howard Roark, the novel’s
idealistic protagonist who designs skyscrapers and rages against the
The macho architect-builder and
anti-Establishment hero also rapes the female protagonist. So you can
see why Trump would relate to him.
In fact, it seems that Trump has no books
and reads no books (which leaves him a lot of time to tweet), but this
doesn't mean that he can't have picked up Ayn Rand's main ideas (Greed
Is Good, as Oliver Stone phrased it, and she herself said Altruism Is
Bad). And he is not the only one. Here is one example of a dedicated
follower of Rand:
Of course, Ayn Rand aficionados are
hardly unknown in the high reaches of government. The most powerful one
of all was the man who bears much of the responsibility for the
2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed, former
Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan.
This ends as follows, which I don't quite agree
As I said earlier, I seriously doubt
that Donald Trump is really a fan of Ayn Rand. Her books may be
juvenile and shallow, but they’re way too deep for him. Still, Trump is
definitely narcissistic and almost pathologically self-confident — he’s
like John Galt’s id, without knowing it. He certainly subscribes to Ayn
Rand’s personal credo: “What is good for me is Good!” It appears he’s
found a group of like minds to help him ruin the country.
No, I don't quite think so:
First, Ayn Rand's books very probably have
not been read by Trump, but this does not mean that he doesn't
know her main ideas, nor does it mean he does not agree with them.
(Also, while I agree Trump is not at all the big intellect he thinks he
is, he is smart enough to understand Rand.)
Second, if he is "definitely narcissistic" (which I agree he is), this implies he has
a psychopathology, and part of it is that he is grandiosely
And since I wrote this yesterday and it seems quite true to me, I
repeat a remark I made then here:
If you are a rich man who subscribes to
Ayn Rand's doctrines of egoism, greed, and despising the poor because
they are poor, what you subscribe to is - in my personal
- the precise equivalent of the norms of criminals, who
also are greedy, also are egoistic, also
despise anyone who is poor,
and also project themselves as a special class of people
who are entitled to steal from the stupid rest.
4. Making Russia ‘The Enemy’
The fourth item is by Robert Parry on Consortiumnews:
This starts as follows:
The rising hysteria about Russia is best
understood as fulfilling two needs for Official Washington: the
Military Industrial Complex’s transitioning from the “war on terror” to
a more lucrative “new cold war” – and blunting the threat that a
President Trump poses to the neoconservative/liberal -interventionist
By hyping the Russian “threat,” the
neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks, who include much of the
mainstream U.S. news media, can guarantee bigger military budgets from
Congress. The hype also sets in motion a blocking maneuver to impinge
on any significant change in direction for U.S. foreign policy under
Hm. I believe that what Robert Parry is
sketching here is the "Official Washington" of Obama and the present
elite of the Democratic Party.
He may well be right, but then again Obama has only four weeks to go as
President of the USA, while it seems less probable to me that Hillary
will last as a leader the Democratic Party.
Then again, he is right about "much of the mainstream U.S. news media":
They do insist, without evidence, that Russians are a major threat to
Here is some evidence (?) that the Russians did not hack the Democratic
email accounts, nor that the Russians gave the information to Wikileaks:
And, even though The New York Times and
other big news outlets are reporting
as flat fact that Russia hacked the Democratic email accounts
and gave the information to WikiLeaks, former British Ambassador Craig
Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told the
London Daily Mail that he
personally received the email data from a “disgusted” Democrat.
Murray said he flew from London to
Washington for a clandestine handoff from one of the email sources in
September, receiving the package in a wooded area near American
I say. I merely report this, and don't
know what to think about it, although I tend to trust Julian Assange
more than not.
There is this on Hillary Clinton's refusal
to accept that she and the leading Democrats failed against Trump:
Rather than national party leaders
taking the blame for pre-selecting a very flawed candidate and ignoring
all the warning signs about the public’s resistance to this
establishment choice, Democrats have pointed fingers at almost everyone
else – from FBI Director James Comey for briefly reviving Clinton’s
email investigation, to third-party candidates who siphoned off votes,
to the archaic Electoral College which negates the fact that Clinton
did win the national popular vote – and now to the Russians.
I think that is mostly correct. This is
from the ending of the article:
In other words, “perception
management” remains the guiding principle of how the U.S.
government deals with the American people, scaring us with exaggerated
tales of foreign threats and then manipulating our fears and our
As dangerous as that can be when we’re
talking about Nicaragua or Iraq or Libya, the risks are exponentially
higher regarding Russia. If the American people are stampeded into a
New Cold War based more on myths than reality, the minimal cost could
be the trillions of dollars diverted from domestic needs into the
Military Industrial Complex. The far-greater cost could be some
miscalculation by either side that could end life on the planet.
And this also seems mostly correct, and
indeed also is quite radical:
The American government these days, and
since 15 years at least, does not honestly say what they think
is the case: they try to manipulate the Americans by propaganda and
deceptions and are helped by considerable parts of the
mainstream media, and this may lead to a new Cold War that may "end
life on the planet".
I agree and this is a recommended article.
5. The 4 Syndromes of Passivity in the Face of Pending
The fifth and last item today is by Robert Reich on his site
This starts as follows:
As the era of Trump approaches,
some of you are succumbing to the follow four syndromes:
1. Normalizer Syndrome. You want to believe Trump will be just
another president – more conservative and pompous than most, but one
make rational decisions once in office.
You are under
a grave delusion. Trump has a serious personality disorder and will
pose a clear
and present danger to America and the world.
I don't quite agree.
First, Reich uses the term "syndrome" to
describe the reactions of ordinary people (he probably thinks
sympathize with him). I think that is a mistake,
and I do so as a psychologist. Here is the meaning of "syndrome"
to Wikipedia (quoted minus a note number), which indeed is my own
understanding of the term:
A syndrome is a set of medical
signs and symptoms that are correlated with each other. The
word derives from the Greek σύνδρομον, meaning "concurrence". In
some instances a syndrome is so closely correlated with a pathogenesis
or etiology that the words syndrome, disease, and disorder
end up being used interchangeably for them.
And I don't think that is the correct
term in the present context, for these are not "medical signs and
symptoms" (and indeed also are not signs of any psychopathology).
And second, while I agree that "Trump has a serious personality disorder", why not name it? It is megalomania aka grandiose narcissism
(this last link is to March 14, last) and Trump obviously has
it (for someone with psychological or psychiatric training, at least
I agree with the rest, but I think these are two mistakes that should
have been avoided. It is the same with the other three "syndromes"
Reich mentions (which I repeat without the texts that accompany them,
which is not much):
2. Outrage Numbness
3. Cynical Syndrome.
4. Helpless Syndrome.
This is from the ending of the article:
But why? I think demonstrating etc. may
help, but it depends. And just "taking action" is not
sufficient to "empower you".
Also - and this is my main skept- icism - if Trump is
going to lead "a tyranny", which may be a correct diagnosis,
but is one which is on the moment uncertain, acting in public
against Trump the tyrant may cause you great problems.
Millions of others feel equally
powerless. But taking action – demonstrating, resisting, objecting,
demanding, speaking truth, joining with others, making a ruckus, and
never ceasing to fight Trump’s pending tyranny – will empower you.
And while I agree with Reich that Trump must be opposed, I don't know
which would be the best way. And anyway "syndrome" is the wrong
- medical - term to describe those who may oppose him, but as yet are
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
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 believe "community" these days is mostly used as a propaganda term because it suggests a closeness and a shared set of values and ideas. Here is the Wikipedia's beginning for the term:
A community is commonly considered a social unit (a group of people) who have something in common, such as norms, values, identity, and often a sense of place that is situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a village, town, or neighborhood).
It is a propaganda term because virtually any class of persons that one wants to propagandize positively these days is called "a community", not because it is, in the above sense, but because one wants to give the impression it is.
And I think this holds for the "intelligence community": It seems bullshit to me.
 In the second half of 1985, when I had
gotten quite a lot better because of vitamins, I got acquainted with a
considerable number of people who made a lot of money dealing
illegal drugs (nominally marijuana and hashish, but in most cases
in cocaine - and no, I don't use cocaine or any hard drug).
They liked me because I was clever and could converse really well and
what I found out talking with them is what I said: Each of them
was greedy, each of them was
egoistic, each of them despised anyone who is poor, and each of
them projected themselves as belonging to a special class of people
who are entitled to steal from the stupid rest.
I am not like that and had given them all up by the end of 1985, but
this was a real lesson to me, for I had not reckoned with this,
and especially not the last fact.
 And since I have the training, let me also say why I think few psychologists and few
psychiatrists will honestly say what they think they know about Donald
Trump from his many videos: Most psychologists and most psychiatrists
are more interested in the money they earn and the status they
have than in speaking the truth about powerful persons. (That is, they
are just like the majority of people.)