Oct 2, 2016

Crisis: Trump Supporters, Anti-Trump, Bees, Internet, TTIP
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Why Do Trump Supporters Believe so Many Things
     That Are Crazy and Wrong?

2. Hillary Clinton’s Anti-Trump Campaign
3. Bees in Peril as First Species Added to Endangered
     Species List

4. Internet Undergoes 'Biggest Change in a Generation'
     (That You Never Heard About)

5. TTIP May be Dead, But We’re Still Facing TTIP by the
     Back Door

This is a Nederlog of Sunday, October 2, 2016.

A. This is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about Trump supporters (and being a psychologist I say that major stupidity and ignorance, combined with sickening malice and totalitarianism explain them quite well (but "Scientists" may see this otherwise); item 2 is about an article by Robert Reich on Clinton's campaign; item 3 is about the fact that 1 kind of bees (in Hawaii) are now "an endangered species": I think there are more; item 4 is about a recent internet change that seems OK, although I have to admit that I am far less positively interested in either the internet or computers since I learned that the combination of internet and computers unlocks almost everyone's total privacy to almost any secret service, for that also seems to be the case; and item 5 is about "the death of the TTIP", that I don't believe until all involved governments admit to it, which is far from the case.

-- Constant part, for the moment --

B. In case you visit my Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need to click/reload twice or more to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for me, but it is possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my computer.

In any case, I am now (again) updating the opening of my site with the last day it was updated. (And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times to see the last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. [1]

C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now works again (!), but I do not know how long it will. ("xs4all" did OK for one - 1 - day, and then reverted to showing very old openings, also at a wrong place, while I had to click several times to see any new file I had added.)

I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that also went well for 20 or for 12 years.

I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!) in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that for many months now.

1. Why Do Trump Supporters Believe so Many Things That Are Crazy and Wrong?

The first item
today is by Amanda Marcotte on AlterNet:
  • Why Do Trump Supporters Believe so Many Things That Are Crazy and Wrong?
This starts as follows:
Last week, The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper went to a Donald Trump rally to interview the spray-tanned oaf’s supporters about some of their more fantastical beliefs. The results were bizarre, even by the standards of a presidential campaign that long ago broke the wacky-meter.
Trump supporters suggested that Hillary Clinton had multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and even AIDS, and was using a body double to conceal her ill health from the public. They also dug into birther conspiracy theories about President Obama.

One man even ranted that, “Barack Obama had big part of 9/11,” because he was “always on vacation, never in the office.” (Pro tip: Barack Obama was not president when 9/11 occurred.)

To liberal viewers, this whole display is boggling. These folks clearly are competent enough to dress themselves, read the address of the rally and show up on time, and somehow they continue to believe stuff that’s so crazy and so false that it’s impossible to believe anyone that isn’t barking mad could believe it. What’s going on?
I printed this as given, and on the part marked "(..)" there is a link to a video (I couldn't see on my computer, and that doesn't interest me). Here are three
initial remarks:

First, people who say the things that are mentioned above very probably combine two things: Major stupidity and ignorance, combined with sickening malice and totalitarianism.

Second, of course it is not just "liberal viewers" who find it "
impossible to believe anyone that isn’t barking mad could believe it": Nobody who is halfway sane agrees that the quoted insanities are not insane - and indeed this is also one basis for quite a few Republicans who have concluded anything is better than Trump, including Hillary Clinton.

And third, we get another "Scientist" - A Real Psychologist and quite possibly also A Real Laywer - who is supposed to explain this, but while I am a psychologist myself, I cannot see that he says anything interesting or scientific.

I think my explanation -
major stupidity and ignorance, combined with sickening malice and totalitarianism - is quite adequate, and I also think that the reason people don't say so is mostly lack of courage.

2. Hillary Clinton’s Anti-Trump Campaign

The second item is by Robert Reich on his site:
  • Hillary Clinton’s Anti-Trump Campaign

This starts as follows:

The Clinton campaign is relentlessly focusing on the defects of Donald Trump rather than the defects of the Republican agenda. That’s understandable, and it could be a winning strategy. But it has pitfalls.   

The goal is to attract a wide swathe of voters who might ordinarily lean Republican on issues, as well as unenthusiastic Democrats who need the specter of a Trump presidency to get to the polls.

This is news for me in the sense that I did not know that this is the set end of the Clinton campaign. Then again, I agree with the end (and am not at all amazed, and indeed also not much interested in Clinton's campaign).

Here is a sketch of some Clinton ads:

One new Clinton ad, for example, shows young women looking at themselves in mirrors while sexist comments by Trump are played in the background.

Another features clips of GOP leaders criticizing Trump in TV interviews, and closes with the words: “Unfit. Dangerous. Even for Republicans.”

Under the umbrella “Together for America,” the Clinton campaign is highlighting other well-known Republicans who have spoken out against Trump’s character and temperament.

The Clinton campaign is also playing up endorsements by traditional Republican newspapers that have found Trump “unfit” to be president, or, in the words of the Cincinnati Enquirer (which hasn’t endorsed a Democrat in a century), “a clear and present danger.”

This is another thing I did not know, I suppose because I live in Holland, and I also detest all advertisements and all propaganda. But as before: This does seem a correct approach.

Robert Reich isn't quite convinced Clinton's campaign is correct, and two of his reasons are these:

Hillary Clinton needs a Democratic Senate if she becomes president. Without one, her legislative initiatives will be dead on arrival. She may not even be able to count on enough votes to confirm her cabinet choices.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, the odds of Democrats retaking the House – never high – now seem impossible.

I agree this would be better for Clinton, but in fact I care far less for Cinton than I care about defeating Trump.

But Reich is correct that most things Trump proposed are quite Republican, that is to say, pro rich and anti poor:

The reality is that Trump’s proposals aren’t far removed from what the Republican Party has been trying to achieve for years – cutting taxes on the rich and on corporations; gutting health, safety, and environmental regulations; repealing Obamacare; spending more on defense; blocking immigration and sending more undocumented workers packing; imposing “law and order” in black communities; and preventing an increase in the minimum wage.

Focusing on Trump’s character flaws instead of the flawed Republican agenda is appropriate – up to a point. Donald Trump is dangerous. And, yes, the first priority must be to stop him.

I think I agree that focusing on "Trump’s character flaws" (a major euphemism, but let that be for the moment) seems to be the best way of defeating him, and that indeed has "first priority".

3. Bees in Peril as First Species Added to Endangered Species List

The third item is by
Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
  • Bees in Peril as First Species Added to Endangered Species List
This starts with a subtitle which I will quote because it clarifies things:
Listing comes amid a national crisis of declining bee populations, which is attributed to an array of causes, including habitat loss, and the widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
I have several times before reported on this, and my main reason for doing so is that without bees (or with far fewer bees, indeed) most of us will be dead because we will not get enough food.

Also, my own - reasonably confirmed - guess is that the death of so many bees is mostly due to
neonicotinoid pesticides.

And now the first species of bees is added to the Endangered Species List:

Marking a troubling development in the crisis of pollinator decline, the first species of bees were added to the Endangered Species List.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced the determined status on Friday for seven types of yellow-faced bees found in the Hawaiian islands.

It comes after a multi-year effort by the invertebrate conservation organization The Xerces Society to gain federal recognition and protection for the threatened bees.

Xerces communication director Matthew Shepard hailed the development as "excellent news for these bees," but added that "there is much work that needs to be done to ensure that Hawaii's bees thrive."

I can see that this is a success for the protectors of Hawaiian bees, but it does not seem to me to be of much use to other bees. Then again, it is a first, and it may be the case that this will help other bees.

4. Internet Undergoes 'Biggest Change in a Generation' (That You Never Heard About)

The fourth item today is by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:

  • Internet Undergoes 'Biggest Change in a Generation' (That You Never Heard About)
This starts as follows:

Though Republican lawmakers have painted this moment in Internet history as 'doomsday,' and rallied a last ditch-effort to block it, at midnight on Saturday the U.S. government cede control of the web's core naming directory to a multi- stakeholder nonprofit. 

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based group of international stakeholders will now control the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which includes the database that translates website names into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

The handover, hailed as "the most significant change in the Internet's functioning for a generation" by the U.K.-based technology site The Register, was long fought for by open Internet advocates.

Again I did not know this (and so the title is correct, for me). Then again, I definitely disagree that this is "the most significant change in the Internet's functioning for a generation":

Surely by far the most significant chane in the Internet's functioning was Snowden's news that absolutely everyone absolutely anywhere is in secret being tracked and being stored in the NSAs, the GCHQs and many other secret services's computers, so that these secret dossiers can be used against anyone by any future government as long as these secret dossiers  exist (that contain far more information than the KGB possessed).

The article ends as follows, on the present change:

In a statement celebrating the change, ICANN board chair Stephen D. Crocker said, "This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality."

"This community validated the multi stakeholder model of internet governance," Crocker continued. "It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the internet of today."

I take it that this is a considerable advantage for a more or less "free" internet, but again I must add that I do not believe much in the internet anymore, and have given up my liking for computers, simply because the
combination of computers and internet
has turned out to be the perfect way for the rich and their eager servants to change almost everyone effectively in a fully controlled and manipulated slave, in the end. [2]

And to stop the NSA, the GCHQ and all other secret services compiling their immense secret dossiers on everyone anywhere, these secret services or their dossiers must be destroyed, I am afraid - and on that there is very little or no chance without some genuine revolution, that I myself do not see coming soon. [3]

Then again, the economy may collapse, and it certainly is far from stable.

5. TTIP May be Dead, But We’re Still Facing TTIP by the Back Door

The fifth and last item today is b
y Guy Taylor on Common Dreams:

  • TTIP May be Dead, But We’re Still Facing TTIP by the Back Door
This starts as follows (with some Good News, or so it appears):

The architects of the current wave of trade deals have embarked on a desperate ploy to salvage something from the death of their flagship treaty. Sacrificing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP in order to get CETA (the close relation of TTIP, a deal between the EU and Canada) agreed was always going to be a risky strategy. The taste of victory has simply whetted the appetite of the campaign to stop CETA. That campaign is now making real waves.

Late last week in Bratislava, EU officials finally admitted that TTIP would not see the light of day during Obama's term of office and therefore the future of the deal is extremely uncertain. The call from four countries of the EU (including Austria and France) to stop TTIP negotiations and to restart the whole process with a fresh mandate accentuated the death of the deal. Negotiations scheduled for 3 October in New York will be zombie negotiations as they go through the motions in order to save face for Cecelia Malmstrom and Michael Froman, the heads of the trade teams in the EU and US respectively.

I say. And while I am somewhat willing to accept this news, I also should say I am still rather skeptical, for at least three different reasons:

(i) when I was starting to read up on the TPP, I soon met a site created and run by a husband and wife who were very confident that they had stopped the TPP - but the site has disappeared since, while the TPP still persists; (ii) it remains a fact that most things about these treaties are still being kept secret (which itself is a sign that something very sick is being planned); and (iii) the TTP, TTIP, TISA and CETA are all plans to achieve the same: An effective system of neofascism, in which the multi-national corporations and their CEOs are far more powerful than heads of state, governments, parliaments, national judiciaries or democrats, and get everything they want, and convict states, governments, parliaments and people to give up any law that threatened the projected profits of the multi-nationals, and pay enormous fines for adopting laws that threatened the project profits.

But OK - back to the article:

So what happened to CETA? Certainly CETA's boat has sprung a few leaks and the trade ministers gathered in the Slovakian capital busied themselves in bailing out the water that has started to threaten this project. This in itself is a huge victory - we never imagined we'd have such an effect on this deal which seemed 'certain' 18 months ago.

At the behest of the German centre-left SPD (Germany's Labour Party) there will be a new annex, or protocol, added to the text designed to allay a few fears, but nothing is changing in the actual working content of the deal and once more the EU machine is trying a cosmetic change while pretending it will make a real difference.

Again I am less glad than the writer of the article seems to be. First of all, making some change to a plan that threatens to destroy parliaments, governments and judiciaries seems to me hardly "a huge victory", while, secondly, adding another annex that changes "nothing" in "the actual working content of the deal" also does not seem much of a success.

The article ends as follows:

Campaigners should take great heart from the current situation. While the victory against TTIP was not completely unexpected, no one thought the trouble CETA is currently experiencing was on the cards. For the first time we see the possibility of killing off CETA, or maybe inflicting substantial damage on the deal to remove the worst aspects of it.

With a huge extra effort, with an increase in lobbying of our MEPs, especially those in the Labour and Conservative parties, we can push this campaign to return a better result than we dared imagine a few short years ago when we started campaigning on TTIP.

So I should see "a huge victory" in the possibility that - "[w]ith a huge extra effort" - "we can push this campaign to return a better result than we dared imagine a few short years ago"?!?!

I am sorry, but I do not. That is not a huge victory, and it also is not a victory: It seems to announce that the CETA very well may succeed, and for me that sounds like a huge failure.

But we will soon find out, and I hope I am too pesssimistic.

[1]  Alas, this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for months now. I do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of "xs4all"destroy (really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from 2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because "you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which is the perfect excuse never to do anything whatsoever for anyone).

[2] You do not need to agree, but this is what I think, and I know a whole lot about fascism. But see the next note:

[3] Here is - once again - a quotation from 1975 by the late Senator Frank Church (<- Wikipedia) - and what he feared has happened, and indeed much worse has happened meanwhile as well, for virtually anyone virtually anywhere, provided he or she has a computer or cellphone connected to the internet, can be and very probably is being spied upon by many secret services:
"In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide.
If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.
I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
Again: This has happened, and much worse has happened meanwhile as well.

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