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Nederlog

Jan 11, 2017
Crisis: False Claims, Trump & Russia, Wall Street, Trump's Cabinet, Trump Psychologized
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction   

1.
Watch How Casually False Claims are Published: New York
     Times and Nicholas Lemann Edition

2. Donald Trump Was Bailed Out of Bankruptcy by Russia Crime
     Bosses

3.
Wall Street’s Win-Win with Trump
4.
The Existential Threat of Trump’s Corporate Cabinet
5. A Unified Theory of Trump
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of January 11, 2017.

This is a
crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about an article by Glenn Greenwald about (very many) false claims mainstream media publish as if it were truths; item 2 is about Trump's apparently quite strong connections to the Russian mafia: it seems he was saved by them and may be "owned" by them; item 3 is about
Wall Street winning anyway because both presidential candidates are pro Wall Street, and about a coming enormous economic crisis; item 4 is about Trump's cabinet, which is an extremist corporate class of billionaires that promises major miseries for the many and more riches for the few; and item 5 is about a psychologist's "unified theory" about Trump, which this psychologist does not agree with, simply because I think Trump is an evident megalomaniac, whereas the writer thinks he is a sadist, and there are far more psychologists and psychiatrists who think the former, and few who think the latter.

Incidentally: My providers are still awful. Today it was Jan 6 and 7 on the Dutch site (which has been reviewed every day now for years) while it was (again) December 31 2015 for the Danish site (likewise)... who is fucking up my sites systematically?!?!
(Please note the Dutch one worked mostly correctly for 20 years, and the Danish for 12 years, and someone has been seriously fucking them up since the beginning of 2016.)

1. Watch How Casually False Claims are Published: New York Times and Nicholas Lemann Edition

The
first item is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Like most people, I’ve long known that factual falsehoods are routinely published in major media outlets. But as I’ve pointed out before, nothing makes you internalize just how often it really happens, how completely their editorial standards so often fail, like being personally involved in a story that receives substantial media coverage. I cannot count how many times I’ve read or heard claims from major media outlets about the Snowden story that I knew, from first-hand knowledge, were a total fabrication.
I certainly do not have the experiences of Glenn Greenwald, but I agree with both points he makes, and from my own experiences:

Yes indeed, I know since a long time that many "
factual falsehoods are routinely published in major media outlets", and I also know this has become far worse the last fifteen years, and both in the USA and in Europe (where I live).

Also, I know from my own experiences of being part of events that were reported in the press that it was quite evident that in the great majority of the cases where I could read the journalists' reports and knew what it was like because I had been there myself, the reports usually missed many things.

But Greenwald is going to treat a specific case:
We have a perfect example of how this happens from the New York Times today, in a book review by Nicholas Lemann, the Pulitzer-Moore professor of journalism at Columbia University as well as a long-time staff writer for The New Yorker. Lemann is reviewing a new book by Edward J. Epstein – the long-time neocon, right-wing Cold Warrior, WSJ op-ed page writer and Breitbart contributor – which basically claims Snowden is a Russian spy.
I have been following both Snowden and the - to me - extremely sickening news that everyone is being spied upon as a matter of course by the NSA and hundreds more of secret services, even since I first knew of Snowden's existence, which I reported on June 10, 2013. Since then I wrote 1245 articles mostly about Snowden and spying, but also about other aspects of the crisis that started in 2008, and I think I did this well.

And I know about Epstein's book (which I thought too crazy to review) and also about Lemann's reaction. Here is first Lemann on Epstein:
Lemann himself is highly dismissive of the book’s central accusations about Snowden, and does a perfectly fine job of explaining how the book provides no convincing evidence for its key conspiracies:

Epstein proves none of this. “How America Lost Its Secrets” is an impressively fluffy and golden-brown wobbly soufflé of speculation, full of anonymous sourcing and suppositional language like “it seems plausible to believe” or “it doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to conclude.”

That seems fair enough. But here is more (and I missed that):

Nonetheless, there is one statement in Lemann’s review that is misleading in the extreme, and another that that is so blatantly, factually false that it’s mind-boggling it got approved by a NYT editor and, presumably, a fact-checker. But it is worth looking at because it illustrates how easily this happens. Here’s the first one:

Snowden, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, and their immediate circle of allies come from a radically libertarian hacker culture that, most of the time, doesn’t believe there should be an N.S.A. at all, whether or not it remains within the confines of its legal charter.

I'd say that anyone who knows a bit about Snowden - which surely covers Lemann - knows this is utter crap. First, here is Greenwald:
Snowden believes nothing of the kind. In fact, he believes exactly the opposite: that the NSA performs a vital function and many of their programs are legitimate and important. He has said this over and over. That’s why he wanted to work for the agency. It’s why he refused to dump all the documents he took and instead gave them to journalists, demanding that they only publish those which expose information necessary to inform the public debate: precisely because he did not want to destroy NSA programs he believes are justifiable.
Yes indeed - this is precisely as I have understood it (and more below, to which applies the same). This also means that the New York Times (which clearly knows this as well and since June 2013 at the latest) and Lemann are lying on purpose about Snowden's motives.

Here is some more (again precisely as I understood it from
June 10, 2013 onwards):
What I’ve heard from both Snowden and his “immediate circle of allies” has been quite consistent: that – as is true of all countries – it is legitimate for NSA to engage in targeted surveillance (i.e., monitoring specific individuals whom a court, based on evidence, concludes are legitimate targets) but inherently illegitimate to engage in suspicion-less mass surveillance (i.e., subjecting entire populations to monitoring).
Yes indeed - and this accords precisely with the Fourth Amendment (<- Wikipedia) [1] for this is as follows (minus notes):
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This implies for me (and also for Greenwald, I am quite sure) that Snowden defended the Constitution while the NSA raped it, royally and billionfold (for there are that many people tracked in secret by the secret spies of the NSA).

And Greenwald also disposes of the very current lie that Snowden was only exposing the privacy violations on Americans: No, he was not and indeed I am one (of many) who finds it very objectionable that I am spied upon by Americans, not because of what I did, but because I might do or say something that the NSA or some US government might disapprove of [2]:

From the beginning, [Snowden] always said the exact opposite: that he greatly values the privacy rights of Americans but also values the privacy rights of the 95% of the world’s population called “non-Americans.” As Snowden said in his first online interview with readers that I conducted back in June, 2013: “Suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it’s only victimizing 95 percent of the world instead of 100 percent.” That Snowden said he only wanted to expose privacy violations on Americans is just one of those falsehoods that no matter how many times you disprove it, commentators for some reason feel perfectly entitled to keep repeating it.
Again, this is just like I understood Snowden from the beginning - which also means that people who deny this, which covers many people who are "journalists" for the mainstream media, simply are intentional liars who knowingly try to deceive their public.

And indeed that is the case and it seems to me that it sums up the mainstream media quite well: I dislike them because I hate to be lied to,
I hate to be deceived and I hate to be propagandized, and especially by a set of professional liars who claim to be "journalists". [3]

This is a recommended article.

2. Donald Trump Was Bailed Out of Bankruptcy by Russia Crime Bosses

The second item is by Mark Summer on Alternet and originally on Daily Kos:
This is from near the beginning:
Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, whose work in the region goes back to defending Andrei Sakharov and other Soviet dissidents, has gone through a series of studies by the Financial Times to show how funds from Russian crime lords bailed Trump out after yet anther bankruptcy. The conclusions are stark.

Among the powerful facts that DNI missed were a series of very deep studies published in the [Financial Times] that examined the structure and history of several major Trump real estate projects from the last decade—the period after his seventh bankruptcy and the cancellation of all his bank lines of credit. ...

The money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of cash from dark Russian sources.

He was their man.

Yes, even that much seems fantastic, and the details include business agencies acting as a front for the GRU, billionaire mobsters, a vast network of propaganda sources, and an American candidate completely under the thumb of the Kremlin.

I say. I did not know this, but it seems Scott Horton is quite reliable, and so I do believe it. And there is considerably more (which is only summarized here):

The second Financial Times article puts Trump at the middle of a money laundering scheme, in which his real estate deals were used to hide not just an infusion of capital from Russia and former Soviet states, but to launder hundreds of millions looted by oligarchs.
Why would "a billionaire" like Donald Trump do these things? Well, because he - probably - is not a billionaire at all:
At the very least, Trump confessed to partnering with, taking money from, and acting as a representative for a corporation whose ownership he didn’t know, in deals that totaled hundreds of millions in countries around the world. However, it seems far more likely that Trump knowingly worked with oligarchs, groups associated with the Russian government, and plain old mobsters. Why? Because he was desperate.
(...)
The Trump Organization was a hollow shell and Trump was bankrupt, but Donald Trump the public figure was a “successful businessman,” a screen behind which criminal activity could be carried out on a massive scale. Throwing his name at every scheme in existence wasn’t a strategy, it was a fire sale on Trump’s respectability. Steaks? Water? Vodka? Fake real estate school? You pony up the cash, and Trump will slap his name on it. Because by the early 2000s, Trump wasn’t just broke, he had nothing left to pawn. He wasn’t a successful businessman, but he still played one on TV. His image had more value than his real estate portfolio.
Again I did not know this, but believe it as before (i) because the source is good, and also (ii) because I have been quite amazed at seeing Trump trying to sell or popularize his own products - Trump stakes, Trump wines etc. - while being a presidential candidate: Why one should do this if one is wallowing in money ("a billionaire") seems completely incomprehensible to me, but is quite understandable if the point was to try to keep a sinking business with very little money afloat.

Here is the end of the article:

In the end, there’s not a lot of difference in the outcome. Trump got money. Oligarchs cleaned their cash. Russia got their man.
And then the USA got this man for president. This is a recommended article.

3. Wall Street’s Win-Win with Trump

The
third item is by Mike Lofgren (<-Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews:

This starts as follows:

During the 2016 campaign, pundits claimed that Donald Trump’s proposed economic policies would bring the end of the world as we know it. Moody’s Analytics predicted his plans, particularly those involving trade and the budget deficit, could trigger a severe recession. Others asserted that Trump’s election would cause a severe stock market selloff.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that none of the Fortune 100 CEOs endorsed him for president. For a Republican candidate, this was both unprecedented and seemed an unmistakable signal of a lack of confidence by the business community.

That was then and this is now. The stock market has risen after the election, flirting with 20,000. And while the many presentiments of doom have not been disproven by events – after all, Trump has not yet even been inaugurated – the commanding heights of capital are no longer sitting on their hands.
(...)
It appears that Corporate America has abruptly swung to Trump’s side.

Yes indeed. Then again, corporate America anyway tends for the most part to support the sitting president, simply because serving the power that is makes them money.

Here is Lofgren again:

Why the change? First, beyond whatever innate skill at making money that they may possess, the typical American corporate executive smells power in the way a pig locks on to a Périgord truffle.
(..)
Second, regardless of their pious rhetoric about fiscal responsibility, business leaders dearly love the deficits created by rate cuts on income, capital gains, and dividends.
(..)
That is not the end of Trump’s fiscal stimulus. In addition to his $6.2 trillion in planned tax cuts, he is promising a large infrastructure program as well as hefty increases in Pentagon spending (the one Keynesian measure Republicans have traditionally adored).

Yes. And what Keynes (<-Wikipedia) was a strong proponent of is what the Republicans are strong opponents of if the president is a Democrat: That the government invests in the economy, also by borrowing money. (As Lofgren says, as soon as there is a Republican president, the Republican norms totally shift as long as the rich profit a lot from the deficits created by the Republican president.)

Here is why Trump's - I think: crazy - economical plans will be quite important:
They will almost certainly fail, and will fail in a major way:

It may only be different in terms of how big a disaster Trump’s policies will unleash. His tax cuts are potentially three times the magnitude the 10-year cost of Bush’s cuts. Because they are heavily targeted at those who are already rich – 47 percent of the dollar amount will go to the top one percent – it will exacerbate income inequality, which is already at its highest level since the 1920s.

And that is just the beginning. Here is more:

Given that the tax cuts and spending increases will be of a much greater magnitude than Bush’s own prodigious fiscal mismanagement, the resulting asset and real estate bubble will be a thing to behold.

Aggravating the odds of a financial meltdown will be the unrelenting hostility of Trump’s economic team, as well as that of the Republican Congress, towards financial regulation in general and the Dodd-Frank law in particular. While Dodd-Frank is only a halting half step in the right direction, some of its provisions, such as those that required banks to hold greater reserves, are useful in preventing the overleveraging of asset bubbles and, when the assets fall, a bank liquidity crisis. If Trump’s policies are enacted this country will have a gargantuan fiscal deficit-driven asset bubble in the making, and will have removed the regulatory tools to ameliorate it.

Precisely. And that spells e-c-o-n-o-m-i-c  c-r-i-s-i-s:

Why is this foreseeable economic crisis so seldom discussed in the mainstream media compared to the potential of a trade war?

The brief answers to this are that talk about a possible crisis might upset the investors, while most economists anyway have no adequate ideas about it. (There is more in the article.)

This is from the end of the article:

The big banks in effect had a hedged bet during the campaign: Hillary Clinton, a friend of Wall Street, was successfully denounced as such by an opponent who was an even bigger friend of the Street. It was a no-lose proposition.

The only question remaining is this: in the aftermath of a future blowout that could make the 2008 saturnalia look tame, will Trump’s voters correctly identify the source of their economic pain, or will they be effortlessly distracted by some supposedly existential terrorist menace, predatory trading partner, or newly confected domestic Culture Wars bugaboo?

Yes indeed. And to put it slightly otherwise: Wall Street won the elections because both presidential candidates were much in favor of Wall Street.

And there very probably will be a major economic crisis compared with which the crisis of 2008 is small, but indeed the question is whether "the American people" will be frauded yet again by their few rich exploiters and the corporate mainstream media.

This is a recommended article.

4. The Existential Threat of Trump’s Corporate Cabinet

The
fourth item is by Robert Weissman on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

We’re facing the prospect of a government literally of the Exxons, by the Goldman Sachses and for the Kochs.

President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and top nominees draw more deeply from an extremist faction of the corporate class than any in memory, and likely in history. We are witnessing the wholesale corporate takeover of the American government.

Nothing more plainly shows Trump’s complete cynicism and dishonesty than his absolute betrayal of the core claim of his campaign – to rid Washington of corruption, cronyism and insider dealing. The corporate interests who he properly alleged in the campaign buy politicians will now themselves be directly in charge of the government.

Yes indeed (though I thought and said so from the beginning). Here is more on Trump's cabinet:

With this cabinet, it is a virtual certainty that this administration will be the most corrupt and scandal prone in American history.

And it is absolute certainty that, by design, they will pursue a policy agenda that serves the interests of the corporate class against and does deep harm to the American people.

To understand the scope of what we are facing, it’s useful for a moment to step back and consider not just one or two of Trump’s nominees, but the totality of his handover to corporate interests:

I completely agree, but I also totally skip both the list and the explanations, which I will leave to your interests. (They are interesting, but a bit too specific to treat here.)

Here is the end of the article:

Those in and around the transition, and those who have had prior business dealings with Trump, tell Politico that Trump “doesn’t usually like getting into day-to-day minutiae or taking lengthy briefings on issues. He doesn’t have particularly strong feelings on the intricacies of some government issues and agencies, these people say, and would rather focus on high-profile issues, publicity and his brand.”

Not only will the cabinet officials be given lots of latitude, Trump will encourage them to carry out extremist agendas – even if Trump himself has little idea what changes are merited or what they are doing.

Get ready, America. We’re in for some very tough times. A massive resistance – including demands to block the confirmation of this motley collection of corporate cabinet nominees – our best hope to limit the damage.

Yes indeed. And this is a recommended article.

5. A Unified Theory of Trump

The
fifth and last item of today is by John Montgomery on Psychology Today:

This starts as follows - and yes, Montogomery is a Ph.D. in psychology and also a psychotherapist:

Trying to fully elucidate Donald Trump’s psychological pathologies is fast becoming a national pastime. If the core of Trump can somehow be held up to the light that reveals all, can the Republic and the increasingly nervous planet somehow be saved? I don’t know the answer to that, of course, but out of both civic duty and sheer desperation, I’d like to give this a shot. I’d like to propose, as it were, a unified theory of Trump.

When people discuss Trump’s psychology, they most commonly reference his narcissism, which is indeed something to behold – a garish, intrusive spectacle that both fascinates and repels. It’s also hard to miss his dishonesty, present to a degree so shocking and bizarre that one wonders how he relates to it within himself. Does he truly believe, at least at some level, that just because he himself says something, it must, by that reason alone, be true, despite often abundant evidence to the contrary? This explanation fits nicely with his narcissism, and does seem to be the best guess.

In fact, I think (and I am a psychologist as well) Trump is a megalomaniac aka grandiose narcissist, and I think so since March 14, 2016, and indeed for the reasons that were exposed in a letter to Obama by three professors of psychiatry.

And because these reasons are quite convincing, I am less satisfied by the following suggestion, and will explain myself after giving it:

What I’d like to focus on more specifically, though, is the suggestion, made by the comedians Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle, among others, that Trump is the embodiment of an internet troll. A study published in 2014 in the journal Personality and Individual Differences looked at the personality attributes of internet trolls – defined as people who behave ‘in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the internet’ – and found that being an internet troll is strongly associated with very high levels of sadism. The study clearly showed that internet trolls derive real and measurable enjoyment from provoking, abusing, and hurting other people over the internet.

While I agree that Trump clearly has quite a few marks of sadism as do internet trolls, what I am less satisfied with are these points:

First, there is a clear identification by psychologists and psychiatrists that Trump is a megalomaniac (aka grandiose narcissist, but that term is too much psychiatrese for me). This also implies sound doses of sadism in such megalomaniacs, but is different from a diagnosis as a sadist or a psychopath [4].

Second, this was an explicit diagnosis of Trump and not of (anyway anonymous) "internet trolls", of which there are very many more than Trump.

So it seems to me that shifting the diagnosis from megalomania to sadism because Trump acts like a troll (he does: look at his Tweets) leaves a specific and personal and in my eyes quite valid diagnosis (or professional opinion [5]) of Donald Trump undiscussed, and instead discusses some common points he shares with a vast mass of anonymous internet trolls.

I think that is a mistake, and not because it is not valid (he shares sadism with trolls) but because there is a specific psychological diagnosis of Trump that is hardly discussed by this psychologist.

He also says this, in part in explanation:

Aggression and revenge are often pursued, at least in part, to establish a sense of dominance over other people – to feel somehow ‘more than’ those people. Dominance can unquestionably feel intoxicating, and, as we all know, it certainly is better than feeling inferior to, or ‘less than,’ other people. But there are huge costs, especially in our close relationships, to becoming overly attached to that feeling of ‘more than.’ Healthy relationships require mutual respect and a sense of equivalent worth. A relationship where one person is consistently in the role of being ‘less than,’ and the other person is in the role of being ‘more than,’ is never going to be a truly healthy or fulfilling relationship.

I don't quite agree. First, to attempt a revenge normally does not have as its first aim to dominate a person, but to get even with him, because he (or she) has gravely hurt one (one thinks). Second, not all healthy relations require "a sense of equivalent worth", for example between (loving) parents and children or between (good) teachers and pupils. [6] Third, all relations between people comprise many dimensions (and the more the better one knows the other) and on quite a few one or the other will be clearly better than the other.

Then there is this, and again I don't quite agree:

As I’ve written about previously, people who are in the healthiest, most loving relationships very much want the person they love to find and sustain states of emotional and physical equilibrium, or homeostasis – indeed I’ve proposed that this desire, or ‘drive,’ is what love, at its core, actually is. When you truly love someone, you want them to be in the ‘flow’ of their lives, to be in homeostasis, to be happy. The most destructive people, however, often operate in the exact opposite way: consciously or unconsciously, they seem to do their best to throw other people out of homeostasis. Although it may sound perverse, such people try, in effect, to dysfunctionally ‘bond’ with other people by bullying them, ‘popping’ them with hurtful remarks, or making them afraid, anxious, or insecure. Controlling and manipulating other people in this way seems to provide a potent drug-like reward in their brains that acts as a dysfunctional substitute for the rewards they might otherwise receive from healthy relationships.

As unsettling as it may sound, Donald Trump is probably the clearest example in public life of this latter dynamic.
I agree that to love a person is to wish that person well, and indeed according to the person's wishes, and real love also comprises many acts and choices that express this love.

But to say that "
you want them to be in the ‘flow’ of their lives, to be in homeostasis" is to substitute technical terms (and 'flow' also is a quite recent one) for descriptive terms of experiences: Few have clear ideas about what 'flow' or 'homeostasis' mean, but all have more or less clear ideas and experiences of what it feels like to be happy.

Similar remarks apply to more of this quotation: It is vague tech talk rather than good expressions of widely shared human experiences.

And while I agree that Donald Trump is an obvious bully and an evident sadist, I think these are the more or less commonsensical terms to convey this (much rather than "
this way seems to provide a potent drug-like reward in their brains that acts as a dysfunctional substitute for the rewards they might otherwise receive": these are just metaphorical vague euphemisms).

Then there is this, which I think Montgomery mostly owes to the diagnosis of Trump as a megalomaniac aka grandiose narcissist:
He has all sorts of psychological defenses that seek to protect him from this reality. Claiming to be able to see through things in ways that other people can’t, is one – hence his penchant for bizarre conspiracy theories. Another, I would say, is partly what explains his often shocking degree of ignorance about the world for someone who is about to be president. Instead of ever really bothering to learn very much, to do his ‘homework,’ his strategy is instead to delude himself into believing that he is so special, so smart and all-knowing, that he doesn’t actually need to spend much time learning anything.
I think that is mostly correct, as is the following (from the same source):
The dysfunctional cycle typically starts for Trump when another person criticizes, insults, or disrespects him in a way that threatens to generate a ‘less than’ feeling in him. Then, almost reflexively, and often with tremendous, violent force, his ‘more than’ compensations take over. If people don’t go along with the stories Trump tells about himself, those people will become a severe threat to his ‘more than,’ and will then be subject to his vengeful, often sadistic wrath.
I agree that Trump very strongly (and quite falsely) feels that He Is The Greatest In Everything That Counts (which is utter baloney: no one is), and that he is extremely aggressive against anyone who doubts his sense of absolute superiority. And I think that is extremely unhealthy and extremely dangerous in a president of the USA.

Finally, there is this bit, with which I disagree again (as a psychologist, who has read some of the same stuff as Montgomery has):
Trump, that is, appears to derive an enormous psychological and emotional ‘charge,’ a drug-like reward, from generating different forms of emotional distress in other people with the overriding goal of ‘winning,’ of establishing dominance over them. It’s the basic behavior pattern of an internet troll, but Trump behaves this way when he’s off the internet as well.
No, this is a mistake again. Trump is an evident internet troll, also off the internet, but not so much because he is a sadist, as because he is a megalomaniac, which is also as he has been diagnosed by many psychologists and psychiatrists meanwhile.

And therefore it is a mistake to suggest this alternative diagnosis without thoroughly discussing the widely accepted diagnosis of megalomania (let alone refuting it).

This is not "a unified theory of Trump" but a fairly superficial discussion of some of his aspects, while not discussing the theory of Trump that many psychologists and psychiatrists do have.
---------------------------------
Notes
[1] I print it once again, and also linked to Wikipedia again, which I do because I like the Fourth Amendment: It seems to draw the right distinctions in the right way.

Also, I do like to point out that it was over a breach of the conditions that the Fourth Amendment described (later, indeed) that the American Revolution broke out.

[2] And in fact I think this is thoroughly dictatorial or thoroughly fascistic, and only a government that planned on being a dictatorship would want to introduce these means to terrorize everyone in secret and by the government's state terrorists, which were started as a - totally false, totally dishonest - project to protect "the people" against attacks by non-state terrorists (which are far less dangerous than state terrorists, let alone state terrorists who know everything about anyone).

[3] Yes indeed, and I should add that I developed my dislike for mainstream journalism all by myself, and mostly moved by the rapid decline and final total collapse of the standards of the - Dutch - NRC-Handelsblad, that I read for 40 years, from 1970 till 2010, which was the first 37 years or so a decent paper, but from 2007 onwards started to decline rapidly, it seems in part because it had lost a lot of money and had been sold to a few rich Dutchmen.

Since then - the end of 2008, as it happened - I have only seen lots more of evidence that the mainstream media have been systematically corrupted and indeed these days I only read some mainstream media (The Guardian, The New York Times) to know what they say, but nearly always with very little belief, and especially about important issues.

[4] In fact, there are "bibles" of psychiatry, which are known as DSMs, which abbreviate "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (<-Wikipedia). I say "bibles" because this is how they are treated, and because they exist since 1952. The latest edition (from 2013) is the DSM-5. My point of mentioning this is that John Montgomery clearly knows some of these bibles (very probably at least the latest), while many non-psychologists or non-psychiatrists do not know this.

Second, clearly the diagnosis of a narcissist is different from that of a sadist.

Third, I know that "a psychopath" is no longer in the DSM 5 and has been replaced by "a sociopath", but I disagree with this, as do quite a few psychologists and psychiatrists indeed for the same reason (normally) as I do: Sociopaths need merely disagree with the norms of their society to be diagnosed as sociopaths, while psychopaths need to have something wrong with them (besides).

[5] I put in "professional opinion" mostly because many seem to believe that it is reasonable for psychologists and psychiatrists to refuse to make any diagnosis of anyone without having met them in a diagnostic context.

I think myself that is a quite unreasonable criterion, for that criterion does not apply to any other science, and seems mostly to exist to ascertain the rights of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists to make money from the mentally ill or their insurances, and to deny this to anybody else.

But then if one wants to prohibit "diagnoses" one can make do with "professional opinions".

[6] I happen to think myself that "equality" and "equivalence" are much abused terms, but I will make only three points about them, and make these briefly.

First, I think legal equality - everybody is to be treated in the same way for the same crimes and everybody is to have the same fundamental rights as everybody else - is desirable and reasonable, but also describes an ideal that does not exist in fact.

Second, everybody is factually unequal to everybody else, and has many properties that many others may have in a better or in a worse way.

Third, as to desirable properties: Only extremely few excel nearly everyone there is in one property, and far fewer in two properties, and absolutely no one in the tens or hundreds of desirable properties, as in: "He is the greatest skater, chess player, football player, painter, composer, mathematician, linguist, physicist, photographer, psychologist, humorist, actor and philosopher ever": Absolutely no one ever was.

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