1. Tom Perez Apologizes for Telling the Truth, Showing Why
Democrats’ Flaws Urgently Need Attention
2. Ethics Experts: Top Presidential Aide Broke Law by Promoting
Ivanka Trump Brand
3. Fake News and Donald Trump’s War on Truth
4. Appeals Court Rules Against Trump, Keeping Ban on Hold For
5. Crimes of the Trump Era (a Preview)
This is a Nederlog of Friday, February 10, 2017.
I should start this English Nederlog by saying that I also published a large - over 175 Kb - Dutch Nederlog today that is in fact the last
and fourth part of three earlier Dutch files that were published in
2013 and 2014. All four files were written around thirty years ago, in
1986 and 1987, and state my own - non-standard, trauma model - of psychiatry that I used to help my schizophrenic girlfried, who did make a Ph.D. in psychology in the end, but left me after 6 years because I could not be of further service to her. 
There is an English introduction to the Dutch file in which I explain that I will
try to publish all four files as one file and in a somewhat updated
format, but that hasn't happened yet. And as I just said, the text of
the files are all in Dutch and they are published now because I - still - think they are sensible, although they are 30 years old.
Summary: This file is
a crisis log with 5 files and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about a Glenn Greenwald article about the failures of the Democrats; item 2 is about a - quite possibly quite intentional - abuse by Kellyanne Conway of the laws that forbid her to do any advertising; item 3
is about "fake news" but makes the mistake of not saying clearly enough
that "fake news" and "alternative facts" are both plain lies; item 4 is about the fact that the appeals court sided with a lower court and was unanimously against Trump's ban; and item 5
is about an article by Tom Engelhardt that is correct about Trump (we
have only seen three weeks of Trump's presidency) but that I found a
bit misleading in not mentioning the media plus the dumbness of many of the American voters as important factors in Trump's rise.
As for today
(February 10, 2017): I have changed my site on February 1, 2017 to make
that it might be read,
because it now happened for most
of last year that both of my sites are not uploaded
1. Tom Perez Apologizes for Telling the Truth, Showing Why Democrats’ Flaws Urgently Need Attention
On xs4all.nl it may be days, weeks or months behind to show the proper
last date and the proper last files (in the last 4 years always
date it was that day) and it is today 3 days off again; on one.com it may be shown
December 31, 2015
often was!!!) but was correct this morning; and
indeed I am sick of being system- atically made
unreadable and therefore changed
the site to allow most readers to find it more easily.
For more explanations, see here - and no:
with two different sites in two different countries
with two different providers,
where this has been
happening for a year (and not
for over 20 and over 12 years
before) now I'm absolutely certain that
this happens and that it's not due to me.
The first item today is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
The more alarmed one is by the Trump administration, the more one
should focus on how to fix the systemic, fundamental sickness of the
Democratic Party. That Hillary Clinton won the meaningless popular vote
on her way to losing to Donald Trump, and that the singular charisma of
Barack Obama kept him popular, have enabled many to ignore just how
broken and failed the Democrats are as a national political force.
Yes indeed, although I should add immediately that the corruption
(<- Wikipedia) of the Democratic Party started (in a major way) with
Bill Clinton, in the early Nineties of the previous century, and that Bill Clinton was the man who denied socialism of any kind; who insisted that he had a Third Way (which in fact was a fraud (<- Wikipedia) from the start); who reformed the Democratic Party into faithful servants of the rich bankers, and who introduced many of the deregulations that very much helped the rich bankers (and no one else).
Back to Glenn Greenwald, who adds the following explanation to the above quotation:
A failed, collapsed party cannot form an effective resistance. Trump did
not become president and the Republicans do not dominate virtually all
levels of government because there is some sort of massive surge in
enthusiasm for right-wing extremism. Quite the contrary: This all
happened because the Democrats are perceived — with good reason — to
be out of touch, artificial, talking points-spouting automatons who serve Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and the agenda of
endless war, led by millionaires and funded by oligarchs to do the least amount possible for ordinary, powerless citizens while still keeping their votes.
I agree, and explain it myself as I did in my first comment: Bill Clinton sold out both the Democrats and the Democratic ideology to the rich bankers, who also rewarded him and his wife by something like $150 million dollars for their services. 
And there is also this, still from the beginning of the article:
In sum, demanding that one refrain from critiquing the Democratic Party
in order to exclusively denounce Trump over and over is akin to
demanding that one single-mindedly denounce cancer without worrying
about who the treating doctor is or what type of research is being
conducted to cure it. Trump happened because the Democrats failed. And he and similar (or worse) phenomena will continue to happen until they are fixed.
I agree with most of this, although I very
much doubt that the Democratic Party can be fixed from the inside,
simply because it seems as if the whole leadership of the Democrats
is corrupted by big money and has been so for 25 years at least.
There is considerably more, in part about the Democrat Tom Perez, but I
skip it all and merely quote one bit from near the end of the article:
So in Tom Perez’s conduct, one sees the mentality and posture that has
shaped the Democratic Party: a defense of jobs-killing free trade
agreements that big corporate funders love; an inability to speak
plainly, without desperately clinging to focus-group, talking-points
scripts; a petrified fear of addressing controversial issues even
(especially) when they involve severe human rights violations by allies;
a religious-like commitment never to offend rich donors; and a
limitless willingness to publicly abase oneself in pursuit of power by
submitting to an apology ritual for having told the truth.
Yes indeed - and this also sketches most of my reasons why I don't think the Democratic Party can be reformed from the inside: The "rich donors" have corrupted the leadership and have done so for almost thirty years now.
This is a recommended article.
2. Ethics Experts: Top Presidential Aide Broke Law by Promoting Ivanka Trump Brand
The second item is by Lauren McCauley on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, it seems, “crossed a very
bright line” when she openly encouraged people to “go buy Ivanka’s
stuff” after President Donald Trump slammed Nordstrom department store
for dropping his daughter’s fashion line.
Appearing on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, Conway told viewers,
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff. I hate shopping, I will go get some myself
today,” before adding, “I’m going to give a free commercial here.”
First, here is why Conway should not have done so:
Observers were immediately dumbstruck, especially because—as some pointed out—federal law explicitly states:
§ 2635.702 Use of public office for private gain.
An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain,
for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the
private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is
affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity, including nonprofit
organizations of which the employee is an officer or member, and persons
with whom the employee has or seeks employment or business relations.
“This is jaw-dropping to me,” exclaimed
Don W. Fox, former general counsel and former acting director of the
Office of Government Ethics, to The Washington Post. “This rule has been
promulgated by the federal Office of Government Ethics as part of the
Standards of Conduct for all executive branch employees and it applies
to all members of the armed forces as well.”
The quoted law seems quite clear to me, and indeed this law evidently forbids what Conway did. Then again, I am far less shocked than Don Fox seems to be, and think more like Robert Weissman:
And Robert Weissman, president of the government watchdog Public Citizen, declared
in a statement, “Anyone harboring illusions that there was some
separation between the Trump administration and the Trump family
businesses has had their fantasy shattered. Kellyanne Conway’s
self-proclaimed advertisement for the Ivanka Trump fashion line
demonstrates again what anyone with common sense already knew: President
Trump and the Trump administration will use the government apparatus to
advance the interests of the family businesses.”
In fact, I would not be amazed at all if Conway's advertisement was done on purpose to both illustrate and further the fact that Trump and his government already have taken enormous liberties with the American laws (Trump did not give up his business, Trump did not state his riches, etc. etc.), and intended to do so from the start and continue with this as much as they can.
For this is how it seems to me. And this is a recommended article.
3. Fake News and Donald Trump’s War on Truth
The third item is by Sonali Kolhatkar on Truthdig:
This begins as follows:
The term “fake news” entered into popular usage soon after the 2016
general election, when Donald Trump beat most poll predictions and won
just enough Electoral College votes in swing states to tilt the results
in his favor. Many shocked Americans looked for explanations for how the
unthinkable had happened.
One idea that jumped out was that some voters, particularly those who favored Trump, had been duped by fabricated reports
sporting sensationalist headlines, specifically designed to be
click-bait. Thus the idea of “fake news,” as an insidious and deeply
out-of-control phenomenon with the power to sway elections, took hold.
No sooner had this theory been established than Trump and his
surrogates deployed the idea themselves as an offensive tactic. In a recent tweet,
Trump explained to Americans how he makes presidential decisions,
saying, “I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data,
and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize,
lies!” He has also dismissed surveys demonstrating the unpopularity of
some of his policies in this tweet: “Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election.”
Hm. I don't think I quite agree with this.
In the first place, "fake news" is itself a lie and a propaganda term that masks the fact that "fake news" simply are quite conscious lies. In the second place, "fake news" is "an insidious and deeply
out-of-control phenomenon with the power to sway elections" only in a media-climate were most journalists and editors simply cannot bring themselves to write that Trump lied, even though it has been clear for over a year that something like 70% of Trump's statements are lies.
And in the third place, because "this theory" about "fake news" is itself a plain lie, the term "fake news" can again be abused by Trump to lie about fake news, and indeed to
generalize his presidential power of lying by painting complete media as if they are lying about him and his lies, and that they do so by simply disagreeing with him.
Finally, as long as the term "fake news" is retained to avoid the use of the plain truth that "fake news" are lies, this problem will continue.
In fact, I don't think Sonali Kolhatkar really misunderstands the issue, for she also writes:
Facts are the enemy of charlatans and con artists, hence Trump’s adviser and campaign chair Kellyanne Conway’s offer of “alternative facts” in the face of real ones on the size of Inauguration Day crowds in Washington, D.C.
In Trump’s milieu, bona fide news reports are considered “fake news,”
while Conway’s lies (and those of the president) are simply
“alternative facts.” In effect, Trump has skillfully turned the notion
of fake news on its head and weaponized it against the media. All he has
to do is dismiss any inconvenient media claim, no matter how
well-documented and verifiable, as fake news and stand his ground. Most
frightening—and dangerous—is the possibility that many of his supporters
will believe him over The New York Times or The Washington Post.
Then again, I admit I don't understand why she does not simply write lies instead of the lies "fake new" and "alternative facts".
In fact, this is the more so given the end (after skipping a fair amount):
One thing we can count on is that lies and propaganda are what
power-grabbers, elites and oppressors have always relied on to whip up
support for ideas that would be highly unpopular if the truth about them
Yes - but if it is true (as indeed it is) that "lies and propaganda are what
power-grabbers, elites and oppressors have always relied on" (and I agree) then why now substitute "fake news" or "alternative facts" for obvious lies?
4. Appeals Court Rules Against Trump, Keeping Ban on Hold For Now
The fourth item is by Common Dreams Staff on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
In the latest legal blow to President Donald Trump's attempt to
institute a controversial immigration and travel ban targeting seven
predominantly Muslim nations, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on
Thursday unanimously sided with a lower court which earlier this week
imposed an injunction against Trump's executive order.
The ruling from the 9th Circuit, which followed a hearing
on the case on Tuesday, does not resolve the lawsuit, but relates
instead to whether Trump's order should be suspended while litigation
Two members of the three-judge panel were appointed by
former Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, and one was
appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush.
government could ask the entire 9th Circuit court to review the decision
"en banc" or appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The three judges said the states had shown that even temporary reinstatement of the ban would cause harm.
Read the full Ninth Circuit decision here (pdf).
There is a lot more on this in the news. As to Trump, here is his reaction:
That is: Because Trump thinks his ideas about security are true, down with the independence of the courts. At least, thus it seems, and indeed this may end
And whereas President Trump himself responded to the ruling by tweeting,
"SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"" -- it was
ACLU attorneys who said they look forward to the opportunity (...)
up in the Supreme Court.
5. Crimes of the Trump Era (a Preview)
The fifth and last item today is
by Tom Engelhardt on TomDispatch:
This is from near the beginning:
Hm. I agree with the bold bit - Trump's
presidency has barely begun - but I think most of the rest of this
first bit is somewhat misleading because - it seems to me, at least -
that it is not so much Trump himself who made himself "the center of everything", as it were the media that - I agree - made him the center of everything simply because this made them a lot of money.
Think of it as the 25/8 news cycle. From that distant June to now,
though it’s never stopped, somehow we have yet to truly come to grips
with it. Never in the history of the media has a single figure -- one
human being -- been able to focus the “news” in this way, making himself
the essence of all reporting. He’s only been banished from the
headlines and the screen for relatively brief periods, usually when
Islamic terrorist groups or domestic “lone wolves” struck, as in San
Bernardino, Paris, or Orlando, and, given his campaign, that worked no
less well for his purposes than being the center of attention, as it
will for his presidency.
The Never-Ending Presidency of Donald Trump (Has Barely Begun)
Nineteen months later, Trump's personality, statements, tweets,
speeches, random thoughts, passing comments, complaints, gripes, and of
course, actions are the center of everything. One man’s narcissism
gains new meaning when inflated to a societal level.
Also, there is in fact a third factor that played a major rule besides
Trump himself and the media that systematically propagandized him: The
fact that a large number of those who voted for Trump (and indeed also
a considerable number of those who voted for Clinton) were stupid and
ignorant enough to fall for the propaganda of Trump and the media. 
I think both factors - the media and the stupidity and ignorance of
large portions those they address - should have been mentioned. Here is
the main message of Engelhardt's
article, that seems correct to me:
This means that what Bill Moyers has already termed the “demolition derby” of the Trump era hasn’t yet really begun, despite a hiring freeze
on the non-national-security-state part of the government. Or put
another way, if you think the last two weeks were news, just wait for
the wealthiest cabinet in our history to settle in, a true crew of predatory capitalists, including a commerce secretary nicknamed “the king of bankruptcy” for his skills in buying up wrecked companies at staggering profits; a Treasury secretary dubbed the “foreclosure king” of California for evicting thousands of homeowners (including
active-duty military families) from distressed properties he and his
partners picked up in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown; and the
head of the State Department who only recently led ExxonMobil in its
global depredations. As a crew, they and their compatriots are primed
to either dismantle the agencies they'll run or shred their missions.
Yes indeed - and it's quite true that as yet
we have only seen three weeks of Trump. Here is one bit of Trump's
presidency that probably will remain:
As patriarch, Donald J. will, of course, rule the Oval Office; his son-in-law will be down the hall somewhere, with constant access to him; and his daughter Ivanka is
to have an as-yet-unannounced (possibly still undecided) role in her
father’s administration. If we lived in the Arab world right now, this
would all seem as familiar as apple pie, or perhaps I mean hummus:
a family-oriented government ruled by a man with an authoritarian turn
of mind around whom are gathered the crème de la crème of the country’s
predatory capitalists, many of them with their own severe conflicts of
Yes, indeed. This is from Engelhardt's last bit:
From health care and tax policy to environmental protections, this will
undoubtedly be a government of the looters, by the looters, and for the
looters, and a Congress of the same. As of yet, however, we’ve seen
only the smallest hints of what is to come.
think this is the correct description of my relation: I loved her and
helped her very much, all against my own interests (for I was ill and
am still ill); she never loved me but consented to my helping her
because I clearly did help her; she gave me up within a year of her
getting a job in the University of Amsterdam.
And I could be tricked as much as I have been, because I did love her
and had to accept that after I knew that she was schizophrenic - by the
beginning of February 1986 - that I had to help her before I could be
certain that she really loved me.
It was a serious mistake of mine, and one for which I have paid a lot.
 In fact, I do not really know how much
the bank managers paid Bill and Hillary Clinton for speeches, but I do
know that Clinton ended his presidency with little money; that Bill and
Hillary made many speeches to very rich bankers that were all
paid around $250,000 per speech (!!); and that they ended up owning
between $80 million and $160 million. Precisely how much of these
riches were paid for by the rich bankers for their speeches seems
 I am sorry, but I think that my explanation of the importance of stupidity and ignorance in explaining politics is quite true (and indeed I belong to the minority of those who are neither stupid nor ignorant - which very unfortunately is a minority).