Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017

Crisis: Dodd-Frank, Police State, Tyranny, Constitutional Apocalypse, On Trump's Madness

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. Trump Pushes to End Dodd-Frank & Consumer Protection
2. Welcome to the Police State of America for Immigrants
7 Signs of Tyranny
4. The Constitutional Apocalypse
5. Trump “Does Not Suffer from the Distress and Impairment
     Required to Diagnose Mental Disorder”

This is a Nederlog of Wednesday
, February 22, 2017.

Summary: This is again a normal crisis log, unlike yesterday. There are 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about Trump and Dodd-Frank, which Trump tries to kill; item 2 is about how America is becoming a police state; item 3 is about Reich on tyranny;
item 4 is about a quite good article on the constitutional apocalypse that threatens, and on the "left" versus the Left (in my terms); and item 5 is about Allen Frances and The Very Great Mind Of Donald Trump, who is not mad at all, that is: according to Frances, who is a rich practitioner of pseudoscience, namely psychiatry.

As for today (February 22, 2017): I have changed my site on February 1, 2017 to make it easier that it might be read, because it now happened for most of last year that both of my sites are not uploaded properly:

On 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 on the date it was that day), and it was this morning again behind; on it may be shown as December 31, 2015 (and often was!!!) but was correct this morning; and indeed I am sick of being systematically made unreadable and therefore changed the site to allow most readers to find it more easily. [1]

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.

Incidentally, if you reached February 1, 2017 on one of my sites you are in the new set-up and from there you can find the latest Nederlog, and all others from there.
1. Trump Pushes to End Dodd-Frank & Consumer Protection Agency

The first item is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:

As the Trump administration enters its second month, Republican lawmakers have begun a legislative attack on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in response to the economic crisis a decade ago. The bureau was created under the Dodd-Frank legislation, which is also coming under attack by Republican lawmakers and the White House. Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to repeal a Dodd-Frank anti-corruption measure requiring oil and mining companies to disclose payments to governments. He has also vowed to chip away at other parts of the legislation. We speak to Sheelah Kolhatkar, a former hedge fund analyst who is now a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of the new book "Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street."

I think I have always started with the introductions provided on Democracy Now!
because the rest consists of interviews and because the introductions are also always good and fair.

And in fact I will not quote Sheelah Kolhatkar (you can read her by clicking the last dotted link) and only select three quoted items by two American politicians.

Here is the neofascist Trump:

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have some of the bankers here. There’s nobody better to tell me about Dodd-Frank than Jamie, so you’re going to tell me about it. But we expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because, frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, that had nice businesses. They can’t borrow money. They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow, because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.

He has friends who cannot exploit the poor as much as they want to, so out go all the rules that limit the exploitation of the non-rich. For more, see my It's the deregulation, stupid!

For deregulating = to enable the rich to exploit everybody without any decent legal defense, was done with enthusiastic abandonment by Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama, but there still remains something to do for the neofascistic president of the USA....

Here is Senator Warren:

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: The 2008 financial crisis cost millions of people their jobs, their homes and their savings. And in response, Congress passed the bipartisan Dodd-Frank Act, which aimed to prevent big banks from blowing up the economy again. Now, President Trump has called Dodd-Frank a, quote, "disaster," and he has vowed to, quote, "dismantle" it. He started down that road two weeks ago when he issued an executive order on financial regulation. And he’s put two men—Steve Mnuchin and Gary Cohn—who have spent a combined— 42 years at Goldman Sachs, in charge of rewriting the rules to help big banks, like Goldman.not

Yes, indeed: She is quite right. Then again, I admit that I do hope for a huge financial
crisis, and with Trump the probability on that is increasing fast.

Here is a final quotation from Senator Warren:

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: On any issue, but especially on something as important as the rules in place to stop another financial crisis, we need to start with facts—real facts, not those alternative facts that the administration has become known for. And the facts show that Donald Trump is wrong and his chief economic adviser is wrong about every major reason that they’ve given to tear up Dodd-Frank. Commercial and consumer lending is robust. Bank profits are at record levels. And our banks are blowing away their global competitors.

So, why go after banking regulations? The president and the team of Goldman Sachs bankers that he has put in charge of the economy want to scrap the rules so they can go back to the good old days, when bankers could take huge risks and get huge bonuses if they got lucky, knowing that they could get taxpayer bailouts if their bets didn’t pay off. We did this kind of regulation before, and it resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We cannot afford to go down this road again.

Again I completely agree - but Trump and his neofascist mates want to go back to the paradisical 1920ies or 1890ies, when the few rich could do almost anything they pleased (until they totally ruined the economy in 1929).

And as I said, as long as "the left" in the USA is not a real Left, as it hasn't been since 1980, the only remedy I can see against Trump that works is that he blows up the economy (before blowing up the world with nuclear arms).

It is very sad, but I think that is where it is at. And see item 4 below, that is interesting and sensible.

2. Welcome to the Police State of America for Immigrants

The second item is by Bill Boyarsky on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

President Donald Trump wants to impose a police state on undocumented immigrants.

His latest order on immigrants and border security takes dead aim at the 11 million unauthorized immigrants who have fearfully been awaiting his action. Now they know. They should get ready for predawn raids, for immigrant families pulled apart, for arrests and deportation of undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of the most minor criminal offenses, and for stops of dark-complexioned motorists and pedestrians. Thus, the impact of the order would extend beyond immigrants and touch the lives of American citizens.

Yes, indeed. Here is some more:

The potential for a police state is clear. There is little limit to what immigration cops could do. Under the order, they would be able to deport anyone convicted of fraud in any official matter before a governmental agency. Or unauthorized immigrants who have “abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.” That could include millions, including someone who put a wrong address on a school application, a common practice for parents trying to move their kids to a better school.

One reason is that - the pretty sick looking - ICE POLICE, as they advertize themselves, make no distinction anymore between a felony and a misdemeanor.

Here is the end of the article:

The bottom line of his orders is to give permission to ICE and local cops around the country to use their own judgment in enforcing this vague law. Latinos, immigrants and citizens alike, will be stopped and questioned by cops with new and wide—almost unlimited—power.

That’s a police state.


3. 7 Signs of Tyranny

The third 
item is by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as follows, and is the only quote from this article, with "(...)"s indicating deletions of text:
As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically do 7 things:

1. They exaggerate their mandate to govern (...)
2. They turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum,” and telling the public that the press is a “public enemy.” They hold few, if any, press conferences, and prefer to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements (or what we might now call “tweets”).
3. They repeatedly lie to the public, even when confronted with the facts.  Repeated enough, these lies cause some of the public to doubt the truth, and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.
4. They blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities (...)
5. They attack the motives of anyone who opposes them, including judges. (...)
6. They appoint family members to high positions of authority. (...)
7. They keep their personal finances secret, and draw no distinction between personal property and public property – profiteering from their public office.

Consider yourself warned.

I think that a real tyranny - like Hitler's, Stalin's or Mao's - does worse things, namely murdering millions of its own citizens for disagreeing with these masters of politics, but I agree with Reich that Trump seems to be doing His Very Best to get there as soon as he can.

4. The Constitutional Apocalypse

This is by Les Leopold on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows, and this is a good and quite interesting article, that makes - among other things - some good points on what I call the "left" (which is the vast majority of what used to be the Left) and the real Left, that is - alas - almost dead:

As Trump vilifies the press, the courts, immigrants, Muslims, Democrats, protestors and anyone who disagrees with him, it isn’t hard to imagine a modern day Mussolini... or worse. But, an even greater threat lies in the Republican’s march towards full control of state government. If they get there, they will have the frightening power to amend the Constitution into their own authoritarian image... or Ayn Rand’s.

Republicans now control 32 state legislatures and 33 governorships. They have majorities in both state legislative chambers as well as the governorships in 25 states. The Democrats have total control in only six states and legislative control in two more (see here).

If Republicans achieve veto-proof control in 38 states, they can do something that has never been done before ― hold a constitutional convention, and then ratify new amendments that are put forth. To date all amendments have been initiated from Congress where two-thirds of both houses are required. In either case 38 states would be needed to ratify the amendments. The Republicans are well on their way.

Yes indeed - and thanks to Bill and Hillary Clinton (both multi-millionaires by serving the interests of the rich bankers as well as they could) and Barack Obama, the Republicans now rule almost everyhting in the USA.

Here is what I quite agree the Republicans are now trying to bring about:

We know what they are likely to do: end collective bargaining, outlaw abortion, forbid progressive income, estate and Wall Street taxes; prohibit class action law suits, privatize social security, guarantee “free choice” in all school systems, and so on. They would do what they’ve always wanted to do ― outlaw the New Deal and its social democratic programs. And if they get crazy enough, they could end separation of church and state and undo other portions of the Bill of Rights.

A paranoid fantasy? Just say President Trump.

For he does want to "outlaw the New Deal and its social democratic programs":
His class of billionaires works that way and they want everything, leaving nothing
for the 90%.

There is this on the Clintons:

The Democrats also shoulder a good deal of the blame. Ever since Bill Clinton triangulated into NAFTA and away from working people, the Democratic party’s embrace of financial and corporate elites have become the norm.

Hillary Clinton took $225,000 per speech from Goldman Sachs not because she was corrupt. Rather, this is simply the way the political game is played. You raise money from rich people, and then you back away from attacking their prerogatives while still trying to placate your liberal/worker base. Getting rich along the way is to be expected.

They made over 100 million dollar that way, so for the Clintons this was extremely good business.

Then there is this, which is quite important and - sadly - very true:

Here’s our working hypothesis for how progressives contributed to the rise of the right: We have failed to come out of our issue silos to build a national movement that directly confronts runaway inequality.

For more than a generation progressive organizations have shied away from big picture organizing around economic inequality. Instead we’ve constructed a dizzying array of issue silos ― environment, LBGQ, labor, immigration, women, people of color, criminal justice and so on. We are fractured into thousands of discreet issues, enabled by philanthropic foundations that are similarly siloed.

Few of our groups focused on the way Wall Street and corporate elites strip-mined the economy. Very few of us mobilized around the great crash. Few of us noticed as the CEO/worker income gap jumped from 45 to 1 in 1970 to an incredible 844 to 1 by 2015. We collectively missed how this growing economic inequality was causing and exacerbating nearly all of our silo issues.

Yes indeed. And in fact the Real Left has mostly died since 1980, and has been replaced by the quasi "left", who specialized in the above and in political correctness, identity politics, postmodernism and the massive denial (in my experience: Since 1978!) that truth exists.

None of that had anything to do with the Real Left. Here is Leopold's proposal:

We need to turn the marvelous anti-Trump resistance into a common national movement that binds us together and that directly confronts runaway inequality. We need to come out of our silos because nearly every issue we work on is connected by growing inequality.

Such a movement requires the following:

1. A common analysis and agenda: (...)
2. A common national organization: (...)
3. An education infrastructure:
4. A new identity: Our toughest challenge. For 40 years we’ve been conditioned to the idea that runaway inequality is an immutable fact of life ― the inevitable result of automation, technology and competitive globalization. Along the way, neoliberal (free market) values shaped our awareness.

  • We accepted the idea that going to college meant massive debts for ourselves and our families;
  • That there was nothing abnormal about having the largest prison
    population in the entire world
  • That it was part of the game to pay high deductibles, co-pays and premiums for health insurance;
  • That it was OK for the super-rich to hide their money off-shore;
  • That there was nothing to be done about chronic youth unemployment, both rural and urban, other than to try harder and pull themselves up;
  • That it was perfectly natural for a factories to pick up and flee to low wages areas with no environmental enforcement;
  • And that somehow private sector jobs, by definition, were more valuable to society than public ones.

These mental constraints have got to go. We got here as the result of deliberative policy choices, not by acts of God. We need to reclaim a basic truth: the economy should work for its people and not the other way around.

I agree, and I add that the "left" exists mostly because the Left has been thoroughly fucked by Clinton's bullshit "Third Way" and Blair's bullshit Blairism/Blatcherism, all of which tremendously helped the few rich (and made the Clintons and Blair both big multi-millionaires, for both own over a 100 million dollars, which - in the end - was probably their main aim in life: Get as rich as they can by bullshit).

And this is a strongly recommended article.

 5. Trump “Does Not Suffer from the Distress and Impairment Required to Diagnose Mental Disorder”

This is the fifth and last item today on Washington's Blog:

This starts as follows:

Dr. Allen Frances – professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical College – literally wrote the book on mental problems as chair of the DSM-IV Task Force.

DSM stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM is the manual that is used as the standard across the profession for diagnosing and treating mental disorders.

I know what the DSM is, because I am a philosopher of science and a psychologist, and
I wrote extensive criticisms of it: It is pure pseudoscience; it is a major fraud; but it serves the financial interests of the band of pseudoscientists that call themselves psychiatrists extremely well, precisely as it it serves the financial interests of the pharmaceutical corporations extremely well: They make many billions a year.

I also know who Allen Frances is: He was for many years one of the top fraudulent pseudoscientists who wrote the DSM bullshit, and earned many millions with it.

The reason I know of him is that my ex-wife and myself are ill with ME/CFS for more than 38 years - which is according to one of the best biochemists in the world, professor
Ron Davis

"is a horrible disease. It is one of the most horrible diseases I've ever seen".

But not according to Allen Frances. Not according to almost any psychiatrist: They have claimed, in massive fraudulent choirs since 1980 (also the year the fraudulent pseudoscientific DSM-III was published, with lots of help by Allen Frances) that we are psychomatisers.

We are not ill, according to the psychiatric frauds: We are insane (they call it "psychomatic", but that is what they mean, and that is how we, and between two and three million Americans with ME/CFS have been systematically abused, in the case of my ex and myself for over 38 years.

I know psychiatrists are frauds, because my ex has an IQ of 142 while mine is considerably above 150. (Incidentally: I don't think IQs are really good measures of intelligence, but they are fair predictors of scholastic abilities.) And therefore we both made - quite brilliant - M.A. degrees in psychology while we were too ill to ever attend any lectures, while I also made a brilliant B.A. in philosophy, and was illegally denied the right to take the M.A. in it, because I had dared to criticize most of the totally incompetent teachers of philosophy and the Board of Directors of the University of Amsterdam: Criticism was forbidden in Holland, and was sanctioned thus.

Therefore I am quite glad that professor Ron Davis and professor James Watson (one of those who discovered DNA) do believe ME/CFS is a real disease - but my ex and I had to wait for 38 years of gigantic problems, because we were "psychosomatisers" according to the psychiatric frauds, and the bureaucrats, and the politicians, for this meant we were systematically denied any help of any kind.

Allen Frances also knows who I am, for he has been following my site for some years.

He may have found there the following article I wrote, in 2012:

This is a long text (371 Kb) but it does show very convincingly that psychiatry is a pseudoscience. There are quite a lot of quotations by Allen Frances and by twelve other psychiatrists there, but none ever answered, although it was downloaded a lot
and it is quite well-written (and much better than nearly all psychiatry I read).

"If you remain silent if you are accused, you admit you are guilty", I was taught as a child. But not if you are pseudoscientific psychiatrist: They accused the between 2 and 3 million Americans who have ME/CFS that they are insane. Since 1980. They blocked almost all medical research into ME/CFS since 1980.

Here is professor Ron Davis who (according to Wikipedia) "... was listed in The Atlantic as one of the greatest innovators currently working" and he is now - indeed since this month - working on ME/CFS:

This takes 8 minutes, and people interested in money should watch it, for he explains that real medical research into ME/CFS is ludicrously underfunded. Since ever.

Davis also got James Watson (one of the discoverers of DNA) in his team - but I must guess that the psychiatrists will insist they are insane as well (?!), for that is one of the ways in which Sir professor Simon Wessely worked in Great Britain: People with ME/CFS are insane and those helping them medically are hardly any better. And this worked, since 1980: There was hardly any research into it.

Anyway... here is the latest by the pseudoscientific psychiatric fraud Frances, who may think himself a genius in politics:

This is from the Boston Herald:

“It’s very important to end the wild speculation — the wild, unfounded speculation,” Dr. Allen Frances, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical College, told the Herald.

“We can’t protect the American democracy by attacking Trump on psychological grounds,” Frances said.

You see? Meanwhile thousands of psychiatrists and psychologists have looked up "narcisssitic personality disorder" (megalomania) in the DSM and concluded as I did: Trump suits all 9 criterions to a t, and have concluded he therefore is one.

But not according to Allen Frances: All these psychologists and all these psychiatrists don't know what they are saying, and they all are "amateurs".

Here is more from Frances on The Greatest Genius ever, Donald Trump:

“Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder,” Frances said in his letter. “I wrote the criteria that define this disorder, and Mr. Trump doesn’t meet them.”

How does he know? Is he friends with Trump? Does he know him? I don't know but psychiatrists are forbidden to diagnose people they haven't met. I think myself that
is pretty ridiculous, especially about very prominent people they anyway will never meet, but I am not Allen Frances.

Here is more, for Allen Frances also invented a new diagnostic criterion to diagnose narcissists:

The president “does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder,” Frances wrote in his letter.

That criterion - call it The Psychiatric Trump Criterion - seems specially invented to clear Trump. How does Frances know this? He must have met Trump, I would say,
but I don't know.

Also, I see no reason (not in my own mind and not in the DSM-IV or 5) why an immensely successful liar and bullshitter like Trump should feel distress now. But
he is a narcissist for anyone who has seen videos of him, has seen his utterly crazy lies e.g. about the number of people who attended his inauguration, and heard his myriads of "alternative facts".

Here is a final bit quoted from the Boston Herald:

But multiple speculations about Trump’s mental health have been made by both amateurs and seasoned psychiatrists. A letter from mental health professionals published in the Times — part of the motivation behind Frances’ decision to speak up — stated that Trump’s “grave emotional instability” make him an unfit leader.

Well... here is a link to a letter that three professors of psychiatry wrote to Obama.
And here is a link to a clinical psychologist who is a specialist on narcissism:

She has spoken with many psychologists and many psychiatrists. After the following question:

Recently, Harvard psychiatrists have expressed public concern about Donald Trump's mental health. Without giving him an official diagnosis, what is the consensus in the mental community
regarding Donald Trump

she says this (and more in the above video):

We all agree there is something really wrong. There is a mental pervasive disorder characterized by self-interest, aggression, instability, lying, stealing, cheating, and grandiosity, and it actually has a deteriorating course. So he would just get worse.

But not according to Allen Frances. Well... here is the judgement of a commenter:

One nutcase diagnosing another nutcase.

I say: Quite possibly so. It is also possible that Frances sees another possibility to make a whole lot of money, for psychiatrists work for money, and get a whole lot of it, or that he simply fears his president too much to side with the many psychologists and psychiatrists who agree their president is disordered.

I don't know, but I do know that psychiatry is a pseudoscience that enabled Allen Frances to make great amounts of money by bullshit. And I do know that his pseudoscience has hurt my ex and myself for 38 years, and I know that psychiatrists
have abused more than 15 million people world wide who have ME/CFS, by denying they were sane, and by denying them any help whatsoever except exercises, which ruined the lives of very many ill persons who were forced into it by bureaucrats.

And I also do not know whether Allen Frances ever said anything that denies that
people with ME/CFS are insane ("psychosomatisers"). It is true that nearly all of them
are very poor, as I am, for I have for 51 years now earned less than the minimal income anyone gets, and it is also true that there was very little money to get from them.

Finally, I also do know some psychiatrists who are not bullshitters, but they are very few. See yesterday, for a fine, very intelligent, and good psychiatrist, who very recently died. He was a much better and considerably more intelligent man than Allen Frances.



[1] Incidentally.... the reason I am complaining so much about the fact that my sites have not been properly uploaded is that if they are not, no one can find out what
is new there, unless they happen to be quite well acquainted with my site.

And since it was done well for resp. 19 and 11 years by both providers, and since I despise the NSA, I think this is done intentionally, for it doesn't work well since the end of 2015.

And of course I do not know, for the NSA is a secret service. But I have read Snowden,
and have been writing about the NSA ever since June 10, 2013, so I do think this is a fair assumption. Here is Snowden interviewed in 2013:

Q: What about the Obama administration's protests about hacking by China?

A: "We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world. We are not at war with these countries."

Q: Is it possible to put security in place to protect against state surveillance?

A: "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place."

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