Opens NSA’s Vast Trove of Warrantless Data to Entire
Intelligence Community, Just
in Time for Trump
2. ‘Intelligence Report’ Leak Damages Donald
Trump, Just as FBI
‘Hit Job’ Hurt Hillary Clinton
3. 'Welcome to the Era of BS': A
Message to My Doomed
Colleagues in the American
Media from a Russian Journalist
4. Taking Healthcare Away From
Millions = 7 Million For Each Of
5. Trump and the Dangers of
This is a Nederlog of January 14, 2017. I found a motto for today, by H.L. Mencken:
“People do not expect to find chastity
in a whorehouse. Why, then, do they expect to find honesty and humanity
in government, a congeries of institutions whose modus operandi
consists of lying, cheating, stealing, and if need be, murdering those
— H.L. Mencken
This is a crisis log with 5 items and 6 dotted links: Item 1 is - once again - about Obama's giving vastly more permissions to the Trump government to spy in secret on anyone; item 2 is on a not so good article about Trump; item 3 is about advice of a Russian journalist about what is to be expected from Trump; item 4
is about taking healthcare from 20 to 30 million = giving each of the
400 richest people $7 million: A PERFECT Trumpian plan; and item 5 is about the dangers of secret laws, and quite correct.
My providers did - to my considerable amazement - both do OK the
day before yesterday (which is the first time in several
months: thence my
amazement), but yesterday xs4all.nl went wrong once again, as
they or some secret service have been doing most of the last year...
And incidentally: I can
get rid of "December 31 2015" in Denmark (which the provider regularly
shows, much rather than the current date, although it meanwhile is 2017
and I published many megabytes since 2015, also on every day) by
clicking on the rightmost globe twice, and then on a central globe (...
and I am deeply sorry, but this is the level of idiocy
that I am reduced to, either by my providers or by supermen from some
secret service(s) from
1. Obama Opens NSA’s Vast Trove of Warrantless Data to Entire
Intelligence Community, Just in Time for Trump
The first item is by Alex Emmons on The Intercept:
fact this is about the same event as yesterday's
review of a New York Times article. You are adviced to (re-)read
that review. And I repeat this subject because the news is quite
important while this report is from a rather different source than The
New York Times.
This article starts as follows:
With only days until Donald Trump takes
office, the Obama administration on Thursday announced new
rules that will let the NSA share vast amounts of private data
gathered without warrant, court orders or congressional authorization
with 16 other agencies, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency,
and the Department of Homeland Security.
First see H.L. Mencken's motto, above. Next, consider this article: Today,
the FBI becomes the enemy of every computer user and every IT security
professional worldwide that is about another American "legal rule",
adopted on December 1, 2016, that makes the FBI (mostly in secret) the
chief secret police organization that dominates the whole world:
The FBI has requested, and been granted,
the lawful power (in the US) to intrude into any computer in the entire
world. In 95% of the world, this makes the FBI no different from a
Russian or Chinese criminal intruder, and it will be treated in the
same way by people defending their systems; defending their homes.
I think myself that this formalizes the
liberties that the FBI has been taking the last 15 years as American
law: Now it is an American law that the American
federal police can intrude in any computer anywhere.
Third, remind yourself that I said
yesterday (about the same subject Alex Emmons' article is about):
The more I know about Obama, the less I
like him, and this is typical Obama in my estimate: He is
preparing for the neofascistic terrorist state that might
already get realized by president Trump.
You do not need to believe me, but that is
what I think . And the same neofascistic terrorist state is designed,
furthered and put together piece by piece by the NSA and the FBI and
the other secret spies the Americans fund from the taxes, and by now
they have almost completely succeeded, for they have "legal" access to
virtually any computer anywhere, and know ("implicitly" normally: the
material has been gathered by machines, but may not yet
have been read by human eyes) everything there is to know about everyone. 
We go on with the article:
The new rules allow employees doing
intelligence work for those agencies to sift through raw data collected
under a broad, Reagan-era executive order that gives the NSA virtually
unlimited authority to intercept communications abroad. Previously, NSA
analysts would filter out information they deemed irrelevant and mask
the names of innocent Americans before passing it along.
The change was in the works long before
there was any expectation that someone like Trump might become
president. The last-minute adoption of the procedures is one of many
examples of the Obama administration making new executive
powers established by the Bush administration permanent, on the
assumption that the executive branch could be trusted to police itself.
The brief of it is that the secret
services are allowed to do anything they want, mostly in the deepest
secret, for the population may now know the forces assembled against
them that they have paid and are paying from their own taxes.
And "the assumption
that the executive branch could be trusted to police itself" only merits Mencken's motto above: It is utter bullshit,
but it is true in the sense that "the executive branch"
is by now, through 27 years of deregulations and over 15 years of
systematic spying on everyone's private information, completely
above the law and completely above control by Congress.
And that is exactly how the very few
executives with top power want it: They are the law to themselves; they
know everything about anyone; they can do whatever they please and they
can do so in public or in secret. Whatever they do "the laws" have now
been created that cover and excuse them.
Here is more on "the law" as it now stands
in the USA:
Executive Order 12333, often referred to
as “twelve triple-three,” has attracted less debate than congressional
wiretapping laws, but serves as authorization for the NSA’s most
massive surveillance programs — far more than the NSA’s other programs
combined. Under 12333, the NSA taps
phone and internet backbones throughout the world, records the
phone calls of entire
countries, vacuums up traffic from Google and
data centers overseas, and more.
In 2014, The Intercept revealed that the
NSA uses 12333 as a legal basis for an internal NSA
search engine that spans more than 850 billion phone and internet
records and contains the unfiltered private information of millions of
That is the neofascistic shape that "the
law" has taken under Bush Jr. and Obama:
The state's own terrorists have all
"legal" powers to do as they please, to anyone anywhere, regardless of
whether they are American or not, and regardless of the fact that
almost none who is spied on did anything reprehensible: Absolutely
everyone needs to be fully known, so as to be fully approved or not, by
the supermen who are secret service men. And those who are not fully
approved risk anything, in secret or in public, false or true, and
legal or illegal by the standards of their own counties.
To end this review, here is Edward
Yes indeed: The NSA can now share everything
it knows, including full identities (names, passport numbers, bank
information etc. etc.) with any American secret or non-secret police
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who
gave reporters documents that revealed the breadth of the 12333
surveillance, tweeted this:
Report’ Leak Damages Donald Trump, Just as FBI ‘Hit Job’ Hurt Hillary
The second item is by Bill Boyarsky on Truthdig:
starts as follows:
The mass of news engulfing us as
Donald Trump takes over the presidency is confusing. The murky world of
spying, smears and dirty tricks are hard to follow. Nobody, including
me, has made sense of it. But looking back on what happened during and
after the presidential race, two points are clear: The intelligence
community, in the form of the FBI, did a successful hit job on Hillary
Clinton’s candidacy. And now the community seems to be doing another on
Yes and no: I agree mostly but I do insist
that (i) while it is true that "[t]he murky
world of spying, smears and dirty tricks are hard to follow" it is false to say that "nobody,
including me, has made sense of it" and it is
false for three basic reasons:
FBI Director James Comey devastated
Clinton’s campaign by telling Congress 11 days before the election that
his agency was looking into whether there were previously unrevealed
Clinton emails. He made the matter worse by saying, just before the
election, that there was nothing
of interest on the emails, reminding America of his first
inflammatory statement, in case anyone had forgotten.
The result was clear. Comey played a big
part in Clinton’s loss. What’s still not clear was his motive. Why did
he care who won? He was given the job on the condition that he would be
above politics. We didn’t want another J. Edgar Hoover.
First, there are some people who know a whole lot more about spying
etc. than others while they are not spies themselves, and I refer here
to people like Glenn Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Edward Snowden, William Binney, Ray McGovern and others.
Second, the main and the fundamental reason why spying is so extremely
difficult to sort out is that it all is secret, while most of it should
not be: A really democratic government should not spy on all of its own
inhabitants and everybody else, all in the deepest secret, on the
bullshit ground that "they might do something we will not like": That
is fascism or Stalinism in disguise, and it seems to be what the secret
services want and have tried to get legally, in which they also
succeeded (and see item 1).
Third, it is also quite false to pretend that one either knows
everything or that one cannot make sense of it. That is virtually
always a false opposition, and the truth is nearly always that everyone
knows something with various degrees of probability, that mostly depend
on (i) his specific information about the secret services, and (ii) his
general position and levels of knowledge in matters of politics
Then there is this in the article:
Even harder to figure out is the
leak of a report
by Christopher Steele, a retired British MI6 intelligence agent
whose firm was employed last year by opposition researchers—“oppo
research,” they’re called in the trade—trying to bring down Trump.
Among the report’s finding was an allegation that Trump engaged in
weird sexual conduct in Moscow several years ago. The report also said
Russians offered Trump real estate deals and help with his campaign.
I mostly disagree. First, I meanwhile do
know that Steele's report was known to quite a few media several months
before the elections, and that the media have tried to verify it and
did not succeed. Second, I know that because they could not
verify it, they did not publish about it - which seems a quite correct
decision by my lights, for anybody can lie about anything with perfect
ease. Third, to speak of "the report’s finding was an allegation" is bullshit: Allegations are not findings, and the report
was investigated and was not verified. (To be sure, I would like it if
it were true that Trump enjoyed golden showers in Moscow, but so far
all I know about this purported fact is precisely nothing.)
Then there is this, that seems mostly correct (including Trump's
extremely childish "moral rule" that he will say great things about
whoever says great things about The Greatest Of The Great, Donald
Next, there is this, that I consider more or
less half true:
Throughout the campaign, Trump showed
high regard for the Russians, a quality that may have raised the
suspicions of intelligence veterans of the Cold War. In July, Trump
invited Russian intelligence to hack
Hillary Clinton’s emails and give them to the media. Trump
repeatedly praised Putin during NBC’s “Commander-In-Chief
Forum” for presidential candidates. “If he says great things about
me, I’m going to say great things about him,” Trump said. He called
Putin “a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”
I agree that "the
journalists following the intelligence agencies,
which have led the way" are made to look like "losers", but the rest,
and notably that "the news media have been
reduced to being bystanders while the intelligence agencies run the show" is not so much the work of "the intelligence agencies" but
is - first and foremost - the result of the conscious choices of many
editors and very many journalists to produce propaganda, lies and
deceptions of the government and the secret services much rather than
to try to investigate whether they are true or probable.
The losers are the journalists following
the intelligence agencies, which have led the way. When Comey unleashed
his hit against Clinton at a crucial time, it generally was reported
uncritically, just as the entire Clinton email story had been. When the
spooks wanted to dump on Trump, they did it at a time and place of
their choosing, in Washington, just days before the inauguration. The
news media have been reduced to being bystanders while the intelligence
agencies run the show.
What can the media do about it? This story
demonstrates the power of the intelligence community. It’s hard to beat.
Besides, there is a perfectly correct answer to the question "What can the media do about it?": Try
to do decent investigative journalism that seeks to establish what is
true or (at least) rationally credible.
And while it is true that some journalists and some magazines -
Truthdig, Democracy Now!, Common Dreams, Mother Jones, AlterNet, for
example - have tried to do so, it is also true that the mainstream
media - The New York Times, The Guardian, and many more - have mostly,
quite consciously also, spread propaganda and deceptions (and The
Guardian since its latest chief editor arrived).
Here is the end of the story:
Hm. I don't think this will happen, for
reasons explained in the next item, and by someone who has a lot of
experience working in an authoritarian climate. And I much doubt this
is desirable, for it simply gives Trump a reason to refuse to speak to
But here’s a way the media could show
its independence and courage. Start with Trump, whose constant
denigrations of journalists are weakening them. Symbolism is important.
The next time he treats a reporter with contempt at a news conference,
as he did to CNN’s Jim Acosta, all the other reporters should rise and
walk out in protest of him and of the administration he will be
leading, including the intelligence community.
That would be a story.
'Welcome to the
Era of BS': A Message to My Doomed Colleagues in the American Media
from a Russian Journalist
The third item is by Alexey Kovalev on AlterNet and originally in
starts as follows:
Congratulations, US media! You’ve
just covered your first press conference of an authoritarian leader
with a massive ego and a deep disdain for your trade and everything you
hold dear. We in Russia have been doing it for 12 years now — with a
short hiatus when our leader wasn’t technically our leader — so quite a
few things during Donald Trump’s press conference rang my bells. Not
just mine, in fact — read this excellent round-up in The
is a good idea to print an article by a Russian journalist on "the
style of The Leader with the press", but I should add that The Moscow
Times makes its article - in the trusted neofascistic fashion  - completely unreadable, at least for me.
Anyway, here are "some observations" from a Russian:
I have some observations to share with my
American colleagues. You’re in this for at least another four years,
and you’ll be dealing with things Russian journalists have endured for
almost two decades now. I’m talking about Putin here, but see if you
can apply any of the below to your own leader.
Note that this is about Putin,
but I agree that Putin's presidential style may look a lot like Trump's
preferred presidential style, though I should add that, so far at
least, the USA is considerably less authoritarian and more free in principle than is Russia.
Facts don’t matter. You can’t hurt this man
with facts or reason. He’ll always outmaneuver you. He’ll always
wriggle out of whatever carefully crafted verbal trap you lay for him.
Whatever he says, you won’t be able to challenge him. He always comes
with a bag of meaningless factoids (Putin likes to drown questions he
doesn’t like in dull, unverifiable stats, figures and percentages),
platitudes, false moral equivalences and straight, undiluted bullshit.
He knows it’s a one-way communication, not an interview. You can’t
follow up on your questions or challenge him.
- Welcome to the
era of bullshit.
Then there is this (and what I give are brief selections, which all have considerably more text than is quoted by me):
Yes, and see the end of the previous item though I should add that, once again, the USA at least is now (and as yet) considerably less authoritarian and more free in principle than is Russia, though this may rapidly change if Trump succeeds in shutting down the non-mainstream media like Truthdig,
Democracy Now!, Common Dreams, Mother Jones, AlterNet etc. (which he
much likes to, for they have dared to criticize The Greatest Of All The
Great Men There Ever Were, who now is president of the USA ).
colleagues are there to help you, right? After all, you’re all in this
These people are not your partners or
brothers in arms. They are your rivals in a fiercely competitive,
crashing market and right now the only currency in this market is
whatever that man on the stage says.
- Don’t expect
Then there is this, which Trump already practiced in his last press conference:
Yes indeed (says I, who knows that most men are conformists ).
And besides, since Trump is president, he might also give his
supporters (indirectly, "in secret", by an assistant) the names,
addresses, incomes, email-addresses etc. etc. of those journalists he
hates for daring to ask Him (The Greatest Of All ) critical questions. I am not saying he will; I am saying he may.
Also, some people
in the room aren’t really there to ask questions.
- Expect a lot of
sycophancy and soft balls from your “colleagues”
Here is the last bit that I'll quote:
But there will also be one token
critic who will be allowed to ask a “sharp” question, only to be
drowned in a copious amount of bullshit, and the man on the stage will
always be the winner (“See? I respect the media and free speech”).
This man owns you. He understands perfectly
well that he is the news. You can’t ignore him.
You’re always playing by his rules — which he can change at any time
without any notice.
at least for now for Putin. Whether the same will hold in the USA
remains to be seen, but I admit the signs are discouraging, indeed
mainly because most men and most journalists are far more conformist than they pretend to be.
4. Taking Healthcare Away From Millions
= 7 Million For Each Of The Richest
The fourth item's title is made up by me, as short for two articles on
The first of the above two articles, by Deirdre Fulton,
starts as follows:
With a vote largely along party lines,
the U.S. House on Friday pushed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or
Obamacare, one step closer to death.
Ahead of the 227-198 vote (roll call here),
GOP House leaders expressed confidence that their chamber would pass a
budget resolution paving the way for ACA repeal, "despite lingering
wariness from the rank-and-file about proceeding without a plan to
replace the health law," as Politic reported.
The Senate passed
its version of the resolution in the wee hours of Thursday.
The legislation doesn't actually repeal
the healthcare law that's delivered coverage to about 20 million
people, but it does "clear the way for a subsequent repeal bill to
advance in the Senate without the threat of a Democratic filibuster,"
the Chicago Tribune explained.
Yes indeed. All I want to add to this is that - in fact - what is called "Obamacare" was in fact the plan that the Republican Mitt Romney (<-Wikipedia) had as governor of Massachusetts: It was not a single payer plan, nor anything better than the earlier Republican plan of Romney (that was much for the insurances and for the pharmaceutical corporations), and indeed I take it that it will now be taken down especially because of the name of the half black "Obama".
Here is why the Democrats object against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act:
But Democratic lawmakers and advocacy
groups are sounding the alarm, warning that repealing the ACA would curtail
access to birth control, hamper
the fight against opioid abuse, raise
healthcare prices for seniors, and make
some cancer screenings unaffordable—all while offering
a major tax break to the wealthy.
The Democrats are right on this.
Next, the second article, by Andrea
Germanos, starts thus, and takes up the last point I cited from the previous article, "while offering
a major tax break to the wealthy":
Repealing Obamacare, which Republicans
on Friday appear
closer to doing, would deliver a sizeable tax cut for the rich, a
new report shows.
Released Thursday by the Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the publication
shows that the repeal would give to each of the top 400 highest-income
taxpayers—who averaged incomes of roughly $318 million in 2014—a tax
cut of about $7 million a year.
That's because getting rid of the
healthcare law would mean getting rid of its two Medicare taxes, which
are paid for by individuals with incomes above $200,000 and couples
with incomes above $250,000. One is a 3.8 percent Medicare tax that
hits their unearned income (like capital gains) above those thresholds,
while the other is additional 0.9 percent tax on earned income above
Isn't that A PERFECT Trumpian Plan?!
I mean: You take away all healthcare from 20 million losers, and you
add $7 million to the incomes of each of the 400 richest persons there
are (The Winners), whose average yearly incomes rises from a measly
$318 million a year to a mere $325 million a year. Gains for everyone,
as The Donald might explain: The 20 million are rewarded by the chance
to learn to stand on their own legs, and the 400 are rewarded for
standing on their own legs. PERFECT Trump!
And here is an additional advantage: The low- and middle-incomes have to pay for it:
As I said: A PERFECT Trumpian Plan.
At the same time, low-and middle-income
households would see a rise in taxes since they would lose premium tax
credits to buy health coverage through the marketplaces, CBPP notes.
Apart from taking healthcare coverage away from some 30 million people,
another study released last week showed
that the repeal could cost states trillions in lost revenue and output.
5. Trump and the Dangers of Secret Law
The fifth and last item today is by Elizabeth Gotein on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows, indeed with a perfectly legitimate question:
President-elect Trump has disdained the
rule of law when it comes to national security, vowing to reinstitute
torture and suggesting that the military should target terrorists’
families. In response, President Obama recently released a report
describing the legal and policy framework for United States military
operations. The idea is simple: If the rules are made public, it will
be easier to hold the Trump administration accountable for
violations—or to spot when the rules have changed.
Obama is undoubtedly correct in
calculating that legal transparency will help safeguard the rule of
law. But his initiative begs the question: why stop at military
Yes indeed - but in fact the government has been pushing the opposite rule: It tried to make as many laws as it could secret, for secret laws are the ideals of a thoroughly anti-democratic government:
Since the attacks of 9/11, every area of
national security policy has increasingly been regulated by secret law.
For instance, much of the authority to conduct mass surveillance, and
the limits that apply, are set forth in classified orders of the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (or “FISA Court”). In 2013,
Edward Snowden revealed that this court had secretly interpreted the
Patriot Act to allow the collection of nearly every American’s phone
A 2015 law ended the bulk collection
program and brought some transparency to the FISA Court’s rulings. But
other mass surveillance programs remain intact—and around 30 of the
court’s most significant opinions are still secret.
Yes indeed - and the "national security policy" are the secret laws that give the secret services the secret right to spy (in secret)
on everything anyone does - thinks, desires, values, writes, says,
photographs - with an internet computer or cellphone. This was done
under the deceptive disguise of the "War On Terrorism", but in fact was a war on democracy, that meanwhile has been won (in secret) by the secret services.
Here is more on secret legal rules and secret opinions of lawyers that the US government practices now (in secret) since 15 years:
National security policies are also
governed by secret opinions of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal
Counsel (OLC). OLC is best known for the infamous “torture memos” of
the Bush presidency, which concluded that the laws prohibiting torture
did not apply to the interrogation of suspected terrorists.
Incidentally: These were just opinions of lawyers, but were given the status of commands or permissions through the fact that the lawyers that signed them belonged to the Office of Legal
There is this on "secret laws" (which - to begin with - are not laws in any democratic sense, for these require the consent of the majority of the public they apply to):
Secret law is worrisome under any
administration, let alone one headed by an admirer of Vladimir Putin.
It allows the government to evade the democratic lawmaking process, and
to give itself powers that conflict with the electorate’s wishes—or
with published laws. Even when secret law limits government action,
there is no way to hold the government accountable for violating
unknown constraints. This practical immunity makes compliance optional.
To put this in a somewhat sharper form: "Secret laws" are the private decisions of our governors or their lawyers that say (on their own authority) that they may do as they please themselves, regardless (and usually counter to) of any accepted democratic law. They are wholly illegal in any real democracy. They can, and usually do contradict accepted democratic laws. They are the sign that the government has grown wild and is beyond democratic or legal control. They cannot be tested in any real sense by what remains of democracy.
And they make the government completely immune from any criticism: Critics don't know what to criticize (it is secret); critics know that if they criticize they risk persecution or prosecution by the government (quite possibly in secret); and anything that is done in secret can be denied in public, and undone, wholly or in part, in secret. That is not democracy: it is totally arbitrary authoritarian government.
A government that runs wholly on secret
laws is an absolute dictatorship, and a government that runs in part on
secret laws, as does the USA, is a partial dictatorship.
Here is something specific that may have been done (and - to the best of my knowledge - indeed has been done):
First, recent news reports revealed that
the FISA Court in 2015 ordered Yahoo! to scan all of its customers’
incoming emails and turn over those containing a certain “digital
signature.” If true, this would be an unprecedented expansion of the
law that reportedly authorized the surveillance. But without access to
the opinion, we don’t know what the court’s legal reasoning was or how
broadly it sweeps. Would it allow Trump to order every company to scan
the contents of all domestic email traffic?
I think it does, and - in so far as I know - Trump just got the powers from Obama: See item 1. Here is more of the same:
Second, a 2010 report by the Justice
Department’s inspector general discussed an OLC opinion on FBI
intelligence activities. While the discussion is heavily redacted, the
OLC opinion seemingly concluded that the FBI may bypass statutory
constraints on collecting data about Americans’ electronic
communications. (..) Could Trump exploit this gap to resume bulk
collection of Americans’ phone records, notwithstanding the 2015 law
that prohibits it?
Again see item 1. And the dangers of secret law are as indicated: Secret
laws are the preferred tools of an absolute, totalitarian,
authoritarian, completely anti-democratic government, and will rapidly
lead to such a government if not withdrawn, simply because they give
the government far too much unrestricted, unrestrained and unchecked
 Yes indeed. In case you want a fuller explanation, you should read yesterday's
review of a New York Times article.
And yes, I do grant that my perceptions have been sharpened by the fact
that both my grandfather and my father were severely punished for
resisting the Nazis: My grandfather
was murdered in a concentration camp; my father was locked up for 3
years, 9 months and 15 days in four German concentration camps.
The vast majority of Dutchmen have considerably less sharp
awareness of fascism and its dangers, simply because their parents or
grandparents collaborated (which I admit was a whole lot safer, for themselves).
Most of what I said in this paragraph (not: all) is covered by the 1245
or more articles that I wrote since June 10, 2013, when I learned of
the existence of Edward Snowden, who had revealed that the NSA can and
does read everything written or said by anyone on an internet computer
or a cellphone.
That this will lead to a neofascistic terrorist state is my own
inference, but then the three states with the highest degree of
knowledge about the ideas and values of their inhabitants were Hitler's
Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union, and Mao's China, and the secret
services of these countries (and their eager helpers) managed to kill
many tens of millions of persons (simply for disagreeing with their governments).
And the NSA knows millions of times more than the KGB and the Gestapo.
I am sorry, but I regard the impossibility (apart from strong and time-
consuming measures) of copying or of reading papers and magazines a
neofascistic means of control: If I am not able to discuss ideas that
are printed in the popular press, I do not live in a democracy. The
Moscow Times does both: It completely hides the article (for me, at least).
I am sorry, but this is simply a fact, and I am myself a non-conformist
who is the child of two non-conformists (communists for 45 years), and
the grandchild of three non-conformists (anarchists and a communist),
and this is
To behave according to the current social
norms, ideals and practices.
case you don't like my styling of Trump as The Greatest Of The Great,
Greater Than Any Great One (etc.): Neither do I, but it is perfectly
consistent and consonant with Trump's own ideas about his Incredible
Superiority To Anyone In Anything.
Conformism is the basis of all social
behavior and of all human groups: Without agreements in
assumptions, ends and acts no group and no
society can exist, whereas the great majority
in any group is not capable of developing rational
ideas about most problems by themselves.
The essence of all real social conformism is the clear understanding of the
conformer that his conformism is a conscious lie, conscious role-playing,
intentional theatre, and that his conformism is mostly collusion and
in cooperation with other conformists, based on the same motives:
fear and egoism.
What counts most in (almost) any society - for those who succeed or live peacefully
in and with it - is the pretence and appearance of conformism and conformity,
based on the conscious effort to conform.
The main problem with this is not
that this is so, but that many can't do much better than conform, and indeed
act wisely by following others, since they
don't have the wherewithall to lead themselves.
The reason I am (and will be) doing this are mainly (i) Trumps really seems to think so about himself, which (ii) means that he is quite mad, as indeed I think, together with quite a few other psychologists and psychiatrists.
 I am adding this because this is quite true, and because both the lawyers and those they "permitted" to torture could and should have known that torture is forbidden, and that both the lawyers and the torturers would have been held personally responsible by the Nuremberg Courts.