Is Awash in Fake News
2. What Will Happen When Donald Trump Takes Over U.S.
Drone & Targeted
3. Jameel Jaffer on Obama's National Security Legacy &
What Lies Ahead with Trump
4. Even as Global Trade Dropped, US Arms Sales Boomed
is a Nederlog of Wednesday, December 28, 2016.
is a crisis
log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is in
fact a partial repeat of an item of December 19 (but I think it is
important and it is by Chris Hedges); item 2 and item 3 are both interviews on Democracy Now! with
Jameel Jaffer, formerly of the ACLU; and item 4 is
about the US arms sales: Obama sold more than twice as much (in money)
as Bush Jr.
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
(until and including 27.xii).
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), but not on 25.xii: Then
it moved back to 2015 (!!).
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.
Is Awash in Fake News
The first item today is by Chris Hedges on AlterNet:
I must start this by saying that I know
that I have already reviewed this article on December 19, 2016 (under a slightly
It is here again because I found it today on AlterNet, and
because in my opinion Chris Hedges' views of fake news and the American
media are quite important, and should be better known than they are.
Also, I deleted most (not: all) of the items that I selected on
December 19, and in fact only comment on four bits. And you can skip this item if you recall most of what I said about
it on December 19 (for I will repeat some of it).
The first bit I quote this time is about American newspapers:
Most of the sections of a
newspaper—“life style,” travel, real estate and fashion, among
others—are designed to appeal to the “1 percent.” They are bait for
advertising. Only about 15 percent of any newspaper is devoted to news.
If you were to remove from that 15 percent the content provided by the
public relations industry inside and outside government, news falls to
single digits. For broadcast and cable news, the figure for real,
independently reported news would hover close to zero.
In fact, this means
that the very word "newspaper" has become quite misleading.
(It's an adpaper
normally, in fact.) And while this is about the USA, something similar
happened elsewhere. For example, in Holland there still is the
NRC-Handelsblad, which I read, mostly with satisfaction, from
1970-2010 (a mere 40 years), but that I kicked out by the end of
2010 because it had far too many amusements and pieces of stupid bullshit, and far
too little real news (which they did have the
previous 40 years in which I read it).
And for those who accept the axiom that "a democracy needs a free
press" (and I do), most democracies are dead or dying, for the free
press is dead, and has been replaced by amusing, flattering,
bullshitting, dishonest propaganda sheets.
This is in fact the inference I draw:
While there are - for now - still non-mainstream media in the USA that
try to bring the real news, by and large the free press has been
killed, and it has been killed mostly by two forces: Lack of money
through lack of advertisements (in the printed press), and by the personal
choices of many editors and many journalists for money for themselves
for spreading propaganda
and lies much
rather than for spreading the truth.
There is this on the propagandists
“The refinements of reason and shading
of emotion cannot reach a considerable public,” Edward Bernays, the father of modern public
relations, noted cynically.
Edward Bernays seems to have been a
superman ("Übermensch" in German) in his own thoughts about a man with
such (as he thought) excellent and rare gifts as himself, as you can
see from his quote, and who also prided himself a great lot on his
being a nephew of Freud the fraud, though indeed Bernays did not - not
at all - say that Freud was a fraud. (I do, and I am a
There is considerably more on this site
about him, for my site has a copy of Bernays' "Propaganda",
well worth reading (but that I so far failed to
comment properly: I am
There is this on (American) TV:
I do not have a TV for 46 years
now, namely since 1970. And I kicked it out then mostly because of two
things: First, I knew by then that watching TV did not teach me
I did not know (apart from the daily news, that then also was badly
reported: the papers then were far better). And second, I was
conscious that very much of what I saw was propaganda of
various kinds (also if it was not labeled "advertisement"), and
I very much dislike being deceived and lied to.
The rapid-fire, abbreviated format of
television precludes complexities and nuance. Television is about good
and evil, black and white, hero and villain. It makes us confuse
induced emotions with knowledge. It reinforces the mythic narrative of
American virtue and goodness. It pays homage through carefully selected
“experts” and “specialists” to the power elites and the reigning
ideology. It shuts out, discredits or ridicules all who dissent.
Also, I do not miss a TV one bit and never
did. And I have explained it several times in Nederlog. Here are four
of these explanations, in case you care: November 9, 2007, July 5, 2008 (in Dutch), April 20, 2013, February 17, 2014 and February 7, 2015 (all in
And there is this on the internet:
I think this coincides with the rise of
"the a-social media" (that call themselves "social media"), and
especially Facebook, that now
seems to cater to 4 billion persons, most of whom are quite ignorant. 
A populace divorced from print and
bombarded by discordant and random images is robbed of the vocabulary
as well as the historical and cultural context to articulate
reality. Illusion is truth. A whirlwind of emotionally driven
cant feeds our historical amnesia.
The internet has accelerated this process.
For that is indeed completely new:
Facebook gave the capacity to publish to everyone who is too stupid to even
do html (that seems to be about 95 in a 100, just as less than 1 in a
A related bit of utter idiocy is Twitter,
on which you can send text to others - but never more than 140
characters a time, so that you will never be able to state a
decent argument, state a doubt with evidence, or indeed treat
anything that falls outside the scope of 140 characters (around 28
Everybody has e-mail, but the
groupminds of the stupid and the ignorant rather avoid using e-mail, for they can do their
scolding, denigrations, assholery and sickness within 28 words at the
time, and dislike having to read more.
And I am quite sorry, but I have been very
conscious for over 50 years that my main enemies are stupidity and ignorance , and stupidity and ignorance now can scold (and
threaten and demean) 4 billionfold, and seems to do so as well (but I
am not on Facebook and avoid it like the very plague, even
though I know not all users are ignorant, but I also do not
want to be spied upon by anonymous commercial entities, which is how
Facebook earns its billions: by spying on its users).
Finally, this is Chris Hedges' expectation
about Trump's presidency:
Trump is adept at communicating
through image, sound bites and spectacle. Fake news, which already
dominates print and television reporting, will define the media under
his administration. Those who call out the mendacity of fake news will
be vilified and banished. The corporate state created this monstrous
propaganda machine and bequeathed it to Trump. He will use it.
I think that is quite true.
Will Happen When Donald Trump Takes Over U.S. Drone & Targeted
The second item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts with the following
We turn now to look at what will happen
when Donald Trump takes over Obama’s drone war program. We speak to
Jameel Jaffer, founding director of the Knight First Amendment
Institute at Columbia University. His new book is titled "The Drone
Memos: Targeted Killing, Secrecy, and the Law."
In fact Jameel Jaffer was the deputy legal
director at the ACLU before he took his present function.
The first bit that I'll quote is about what Obama did for Trump (though
it may be assumed he himself thought it would be for Clinton):
AMY GOODMAN: (..) So, what
foundation has President Obama built that President Trump will inherit?
JAFFER: Yeah, well, when
President Obama started escalating the use of armed drones in—early in
his first term, you know, he had to build a legal and bureaucratic
infrastructure for the use of targeted killing, for the practice of
targeted killing. And that infrastructure now exists for the next
president, for President Trump, to use. And the real concern is that
the lines that the Obama administration drew are lines that can be
swept aside by the next administration. These are rules that the Obama
administration adopted for itself, and it fought very hard to keep the
courts from enforcing those rules or even asking whether the rules were
the right ones, whether they reflected international law or reflected
constitutional law. And so, in some ways, the Obama administration, I
think, was very successful in carving out this authority, this really
unchecked authority to use lethal force against suspected enemies. And
that power will now be available to President Trump.
Yes indeed - and I like to remark that (i)
it seems quite true that "the Obama
administration" adopted for itself a set of
rules for Obama's targeted killings that "it
fought very hard to keep the courts from enforcing those rules or even
asking whether the rules were the right ones, whether they reflected
international law or reflected constitutional law",
which means (in my opinion, at least) that (ii) Obama tried to behave
as a dictator - without any control by any
court - in so far as his targeted killings by drones were
concerned, and he succeeded in behaving like one. And indeed
the freedoms that Obama succeeded in creating for his drone killings
will now be available to Trump.
Here is some more on Obama's drone
campaigns and killings:
JAFFER: And the
administration, the Obama administration, fought very hard to keep some
of that information secret. And ultimately—you know, in fact, at the
beginning, the position that the Obama administration took was that
even acknowledging the existence of the drone campaign,
exists—acknowledging the CIA’s role in the drone campaign would cause
harm to national security. That was a proposition that the courts
ultimately rejected. And as a result, some of these memos were released.
So in fact Obama tried to kill the news
that he was killing people with drones. (And that does not
happen in a real democracy.)
There is also this on Trump:
Donald Trump ejected reporters from his campaign rallies because of his
perceived—you know, his perceptions of their reporting. He ejected
protesters from the rallies. You know, he has made the mainstream media
into a kind of bogeyman. You know, I—and I see this sort of hostility
towards whistleblowers in that—as part of that same pattern. You know,
I think that’s all very worrying.
That is four "you know"s in four sentences
(which I think is far too much: Jaffer sounds like a Dutchman ).
But Jaffer is quite right in suggesting
that Trump does not
like the press at all, and indeed neither the mainstream media nor the
non-mainstream media, and that he does not like the media because these
may criticize him.
And I agree this is very worrying, because as president he can
try to introduce all kinds of new laws that will limit the freedom of
the press, and he as announced repeatedly that he will do so.
If he succeeds, which he may very well do because the Republicans now
have the majority everywhere, that will be the complete end of a
Jameel Jaffer on Obama's National Security Legacy & What Lies Ahead
The third item is also by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! and continues
the previous item:
This has the following:
Trump has said that he wants to expand surveillance of Muslim
communities. He’s already made clear that he wants to—you already
played a clip that reflects this—he wants to be more secretive about
national security policy. I also worry about what he will do with
respect to the encryption debate.
indeed: These are three important themes, namely the surveillance of
American Muslim communities; Trump's desire to have an even more
secretive national security policy; and what Trump will do about
It seems to me Trump will probably succeed in all three
ends: much more even more secret surveillance, an even more secretive "national security policy",
and no more encryption whatsoever (in the USA): The state's spies have
to read all
of everyone - and Trump will probably succeed in this simply because
the Republicans now have the majority
In this context, there is also the following point:
Yeah, so this is one of the—one of the issues that I think the Trump
administration will end up weighing in on very quickly, because this
statute, which is the statute that was enacted by Congress in 2008 to
ratify the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program—this
statute is set to expire in December of 2017. So, over the next 12
months, there will be this public debate and a congressional debate.
And there are several cases, as well, in the courts challenging the
constitu- tionality of this statute. But over the next 12 months, there
will be this debate about whether that statute should be reauthorized.
And, you know, this is an area where surveillance comes up very quickly
against the First Amendment.
And the Fourth
Amendment(<-Wikipedia) in fact. What do I expect? That
there will be much more warrantless
wiretapping, simply because the American governments since Bush Jr.
have decided that they have the right to know everything
about everyone living anywhere (while no one
even has the right to know his or her privacy is getting raped by the
government's very own secret state-terrorists)
and also that these state terrorists
have the right to know everything about anyone in the deepest secret.
And I fear this will grow much worse under Trump.
Finally there is this bit, that shows you how much Obama
improved on Bush Jr:
In fact, Obama simply continued Bush Jr.'s
utterly illegal procedures, for procedures that cannot even be tested
(somehow) in court are quite illegal.
AMY GOODMAN: How did the Obama administration
use state secrets to derail challenges to current policies,
particularly around, for example, what your book is about, drones?
JAMEEL JAFFER: Yeah, so, in—with respect to
targeted killing, surveillance, interrogation policy, rendition, the
Bush administration had created, you know, a pattern of invoking state
secrets to derail civil litigation, right? So when victims of these
policies, or even people who just wanted to challenge the lawfulness of
the policies, came to court, the answer that the Bush administration
provided was these cases are too sensitive to be litigated. And the
Obama administration took up those same arguments, made the same
arguments in exactly the same way in the surveillance cases, in the
Even as Global Trade
Dropped, US Arms Sales Boomed in 2015
The fourth and last item today is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
The U.S. sold more weapons than any
other country in 2015 despite a drop in the global arms trade,
according to a new congressional report.
At $40 billion, the U.S. signed more
than half of all arms agreements last year, and more than double the
next-highest seller, which was France at $15 billion. American weapons
sales included bombs, missiles, armored tanks, Apache attack
helicopters, F-15 fighter jets, and other items.
(pdf) was published by the Congressional Research Service, which
conducts national policy analysis for Congress. It looked at
conventional arms transfers to developing nations from 2008 to 2015.
Russia sold $11.1 billion, a slight drop
from its 2014 count at $11.2 billion. China sold $6 billion, doubling
its output from last year.
I say, for I did not know these numbers,
that also seem rather low (!!) from my own point of view. In any case,
here is another tribute to Obama:
2015 also marks the eighth year in a row
that the U.S. has led the world in global arms deliveries, even as many
other countries cut back on their arms spending over "domestic budget"
concerns, as study author Catherine A. Theohary put it.
The Guardian noted
on Tuesday that the findings comport with another recent
study that found the Obama administration had approved more than
$278 billion in eight years, more than double that of the Bush
administration, which sold $128.6 billion.
Obama - who won the Nobel Peace Prize -
sold more than twice as many weapons as Bush Jr.
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 think that Freud is a fraud ever since 1966 (50 years ago), when I
read a - more or less decent, and rather complete - introduction to
I still think so, and meanwhile I am a psychologist. One of the things
I do not quite understand is that Freud's reputation is still
rather high in many places, even though it is clear that he wrote
mostly nonsense that these days is mostly not believed in
anymore by the vast majority of psychologists and psychiatrists.
 I am sorry, but I am not ignorant. (I
am an M.A. in psychology who graduated with an average of 9,3 out of 10
maximal, which is very rare; with a B.A. in philosophy with an average
of an 8+, also very rare, and was denied the legal right
of taking my M.A. in philosophy briefly before taking it because I had
publicly spoken the truth about the completely incompetent parasites
who pretended to teach me philosophy. Also, I was ill for all
months of my studies, as indeed was my ex.)
 In fact, a good and memorable statement
of my ethics is
this: "Do not SIN; don't be MAD", in which "SIN" abbreviates
"Stupidity, Ignorance, and Negligence", and "MAD" abbreviates
"Meanness, Anger, and Dishonesty". (And this code dates back to 1983,
which happens to be half of my life ago, in 2016.)
 I have lived in three countries in my
life - Holland, England and Norway - and speak the language of each
country very well, and besides also know German and French rather well
and spent some holidays there. So when I say, as I do, that the Dutch
are - on average - by far the worst speakers I know, I am not
saying something that pleases
me, while what I am saying should be taken more seriously than the
opinions of persons who do not speak 7 languages and have not lived in
three different countries.