Don’t Think “The Apprentice”, Think “Survivor”

It has become fashionable to think of the Donald Trump campaign as a reality show. On in which Donald is plotting how to win a ratings battle, which will result in him winning the prize at the end of the show in November. He won among 17 contestants by being louder, nastier, and simply bullying all the others off the show. His strategy was to tag his opponents with labels that stuck to them; “Low Energy Jeb”, “Little Marco”, “Lyin’ Ted Cruz.” Because his attacks sucked up all the oxygen in the room. None of the other contestants had a chance to breathe and none ever got a chance to get out of the gate. The judges in this case ,were a rabid Republican base who backed their contestant early on which in a large field, even without a majority was enough.

a repub candidates

Having won the Republican nomination, the game, and the rules have changed and Donald is doing the thing he has always done. When I say always I mean his whole life because ironically, the game he’s played has always been rigged. He went to military school yet maneuvered his way out of military service by getting five deferments. Son of a rich man, he attended an Ivy League school and later Wharton (I’m told both school’s are ashamed) and began in the family real estate business of real-estate. He decided to make a mark of his own taking on Manhattan with the blessings and funding from his father. Not long afterwards they found themselves pursued by the Justice Department for discrimination against Black rental applicants and despite, his rhetoric, settled with them for over a million dollars. Not the first or last time Donald or his father’s money bought himself out of a situation that might have derailed others.

a donald and fred

During the campaign, the battle to develop a working strategy is coming apart because the candidate always falls back on rabid attacks which have extended to Hispanics, Blacks, LBGTQ, the Disabled, Prisoners of War, Women, Educated People and pretty much everyone except uneducated White Men. Because demographics dictate that strategy will ultimately fail. The new game of Survivor is being played out within his own campaign staff as the players are looking to survive with their own brand intact while watching Donald sink his own. Dragging them along by forcing them to support racist, xenophobic and misogynist positions.

Paul Manafort the current chief of staff, (the old one was kicked off the island) is trying to maintain his brand as THE advisor to foreign dictators. Having once served Ferdinand Marcos until he was disposed of and the pro-Russia President of Ukraine while he was looting his country for millions on his way out. He has demonstrated his value by getting the Republican Party to loosen their support for Ukraine and propose ways to weaken NATO. Yes, he was uncovered to receive $12.7 million in cash payments. His response was that he “never received any cash.” Perhaps he made them get a money order.

a paul manafort

Ivanka Trump saw her brand rise by doing an excellent job of reading at the Republican National Convention although there was that questionable pat on the ass from her father before heading to the microphone. She told a story of a Donald Trump that was highly supportive of women, highly loyal (except to his wives), charitable giver (undocumented) and great businessman (sued more for failure to pay his bills than pretty much anyone in history). She was staying above the fray in the campaign but now the reports of her own business failing to provide maternity pay for women was a hit. She was strategically silent when Donald was attacking Gold-Star Parents while forgetting how his cowardice in avoiding service.

a ivanka trump

Katrina Pierson has come a long way from her meager upbringing. She turned herself around after a conviction for shoplifting at twenty from JC Penney’s. She say’s it motivated her and turns it into a redemption story for which I find no fault. She ran for Congress and failed but latched onto first Ted Cruz and the Tea Party and now worked her way “up” to being the spokesperson for Donald Trump. Her strategy appears to be going all in and telling the most outrageous lies hoping nobody will notice. If she were a better liar she might have walked away from that shoplifting charge?

a katrina

The rest of the Trump kids. Republican’s have tried to prove Trump’s character because of his wonderful kids is nonsensical once you take a close look as them. Donald, JT’s tweets are as vile as his father and Eric is no better. In their defense, they were born into that situation and their allowance (figuratively and literally) depends on staying in their good graces. Except for young Baron who I exclude from this conversation. They’ve seen what happened to their mothers.

a donald jr and eric

Omarosa… I just can’t.

a omarosa

As long as the campaign continues to deteriorate it will be fun to watch as the real infighting intensifies and they begin to protect themselves instead of adopting the Trump line, however crazy.

 

 

 

What We Learn From The FBI Announcement About Hillary’s E-Mails

Director Comey of the FBI made a riveting live announcement regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of her private server to send and receive E-mails. The announcement was a mixed bag and whatever your perspective on the case there is something to latch onto.

The good news for Hillary:

  1. There will be no recommendation for criminal prosecution and the Justice Department has already said they will accept the opinion of the career prosecutors.
  2. There was no intentional misuse of classified material
  3. There was no evidence of “bad actors” hacking her system
  4. There was no evidence of any coverup by her, her staff, her lawyers or the State Dept.
  5. The FBI’s explanation of the investigation and the results make the claim of a “rigged system” hard to give weight to. It was certainly thorough and comprehensive.

Hillary image

The bad news for Hillary:

  1. She did despite previous claims send information that was classified at the time
  2. While there will be no criminal prosecution, the issue will not die and those who believe everything she does is criminal will come away feeling no different.
  3. Haters still gonna hate

The bottom line is that people will still believe what they want to believe. For example, there are people that recite the Trump label of “Dishonest Hillary”. Have they ever listened to Donald Trump speak? Any and every speech is full of proven lies and misstatements. I confess to having no idea which way Director Comey was going with his announcement and was pondering what exactly would happen if she were to be indicted? So now back to politics as usual. We will see!

Reflections of a New Blogger (Part Two)

 

 

Coming up on two months now and I have new observations:

 

  1. Still haven’t figured out a way to stop obsessing about the stats. I can instantly see how many people are viewing each post, whether they are exploring and reading other posts while visiting my blog, which ones connect and those that don’t. I suppose it could lead to my tailoring my posts to give the public what they want to read but instead it clarifies what I always suspected in that I pretty much write about what I feel like writing about which leads to the second point.

“Life, my ass, motherfucker! This is a business, and you ain’t too far gone to see that yet! I told you before, you’re not packin’ them in like you used to. No one digs your music but yourself.” Billy Sparks – Purple Rain

Billy Sparks

  1. I’m writing a particular thing that to this point almost nobody digs but me. It’s an online book, “The History of American (White) Exceptionalism” and I’m posting approximately one chapter a week, according to the stats, almost nobody is reading it. It’s long, it requires a lot of research, so far its about history which some people find boring. I’ve seen data about blog length and at what point readers lose interest, but I write on. I’ve learned so much about American history and the continuing narrative about how it was built literally on the backs of slave labor and indentured servants. While slavery officially ended after the Civil War, there has been something in its place ever since then to guarantee a perpetual lower class of minorities and poor whites to provide an economic advantage for the country and to enrich the already wealthy. Whether it was the Black Codes, Jim Crow or the current system of redistricting, gerrymandering and voter suppression. The system is rigged and people need to know. I will continue to write this until it’s conclusion in about 14 more chapters because I am learning so much. I’ve found that for every Civil Rights Act (of which there were many) or “Brown vs. The Board of Education” or Voting Rights Act, there has been a Supreme Court or Congress that whittled away all these rights until their impact was minimal. When I’m finished I’ll edit it and put it out in book form, even if self-published because I’m stubborn like that.
  2. People that think they’re smart, myself included, tend to think people will be swayed by their brilliance when what they’re looking for is a personal connection. I typically write about stuff and don’t always write about me hence the “Enigma” in the blog name. I’m working on that I promise. The things that have resonated the most were ones that were less facts and more feelings. I hear you.
  3. Send in the clowns. In some of my blog posts, I’m saying some fairly provocative things yet no one has disagreed… not once. On my Facebook page, I have trolls I can count on to liven up the discussion but they haven’t found their way to my blog. I encourage opposing views; it may sharpen my argument or I might even change my view. Test me in this!

That’s all for now. I’m thankful for those who’ve given tremendous amounts of support and encouragement.

The History of American (White) Exceptionalism: Chapter Ten

“American Imperialism internationally is the same thing as White Privilege domestically. Many lawmakers know their ability to remain in office is based upon their support of white policies. This is how we get the Tea Party. This is how we get Trump. “

American Imperialism

 

“And now that the U.S. has embarked in imperial enterprises, … the Republican Party … is learning every day by valuable experiences that there are vast differences in political capacity between the races, and that it is the white man’s mission, his duty and his right, to hold the reins of political power in his own hands for the civilization of the world and the welfare of mankind.” John Burgess

“No greater calamity could now befall the United States than to have the Pacific slope fill up with a Mongolian population.” President Theodore Roosevelt

“Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. … We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely that the weaker and inferior members of society do not marry so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage, though this is more to be hoped for than expected.”  Charles Darwin

The origins of American Imperialism can be found in multiple places. Interestingly, the word Imperialism was rarely raised when “Americans” marched west across the North American continent as part of Manifest Destiny. Imperialism didn’t apply until we went further west into Hawaii and the Philippines. The term generally had a negative connotation when applied to non-white nations. When Japan attacked Russia it was considered a good thing and American troops extended into the Philippines purportedly to support Japan but also to make sure they didn’t venture into China. One might think America would have supported Russia but because they had mixed with the Mongolians they were no longer pure enough to command white support. Also of concern was the victory of Lenin and the Bolsheviks in Russia which set a horrible example that there was another alternative to Capitalism and foreshadowed the possibilities that workers might gain greater control at the economic expense of the business class that would see their profits reduce. It could very well be that the fear of Communism has less to do with ideology than profitability.

In addition to the support of Capitalism, there was another philosophy that gave support to the idea that America could use its power and influence wherever it liked which was, “Social Darwinism”. This belief was not unique to America, it was unique to white nations including Britain and Western Europe that believed that evolution and natural selection had bestowed upon white people the superior capacity to lead and reason. Those with the greater capacity should see their power increase while the rest should see theirs decrease. In simpler terms. White peoples could and should do whatever they like because… white.

It is this reasoning that would allow for the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan because it would be for the greater good of white people and send a message to Russia at the same time. It is that logic that would see the West built up by the Mexicans and Chinese while paying them wages they could barely exist on under slave-like conditions. It is that type of thought that justifies voter restrictions designed to limit the voting strength of those who didn’t have the capacity to use it correctly anyway. It is why race-based redistricting and gerrymandering and even the Electoral College as opposed to the popular vote is the law of our land.

American Imperialism internationally is the same thing as White Privilege domestically. Many lawmakers know their ability to remain in office is based upon their support of white policies. This is how we get the Tea Party. This is how we get Trump. The alleged impartial arbiter is the court which overall is just as white and judge’s appointments on the Federal and Supreme Court levels depend on confirmation in the almost all-white Senate that has done a fine job of ensuring candidates hold the proper views. The whole system is designed and maintained to support that which I now call White Exceptionalism, but has existed under other names since the nation’s founding.

The Supreme Court: The Ultimate Protector of White Exceptionalism

” The Supreme Court has never met a Civil Rights Act it didn’t ultimately weaken or reject.”

 

 

In the last few days, we’ve seen a Federal Judge uphold the highly restrictive Voter ID laws in North Carolina and the Supreme Court let stand (for now) the restrictive Texas laws that were implemented the day after the Supreme Court gutted the Voter Rights Act of 1965.

I’m in the process of writing a book on-line about “The History of American (White) Exceptionalism” and what I learned that I didn’t know before was that the courts and most importantly the Supreme Court, has always done its best to protect white privilege at the expense of minorities. Congress passed a Civil Rights Act in 1866 which the Supreme Court later found unconstitutional. Another Civil Rights Act in 1871, again gutted by the Supreme Court. The Civil Rights Act of 1875… partially unconstitutional according to the Supreme Court. During 100 years of Jim Crow, the Supreme Court said nothing. They tempered Brown vs. the Board of Education with requiring implementation, “at all deliberate speed”. Meaning states could take as long as they want, which most of them did. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had no enforcement teeth but did provide the framework for the Voter Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Supreme Court gutted the preventative portions of the 1965 Act and instead will wait until several elections are influenced by restrictive laws and perhaps then take a second look. The Supreme Court has never met a Civil Rights Act it didn’t ultimately weaken or reject.

The Supreme Court gave us Citizens United allowing unlimited anonymous corporate donations to influence our elections. Reworded, white businessmen will be able to influence elections far beyond their individual votes possibly could. Add to this redistricting and gerrymandering designed to give white people greater representation and control of state government and we have a mechanism for the white power structure to continue to reign long past its demographic decline would suggest.

It’s clear that the Supreme Court does not protect the interests of all Americans. Until its membership reflects the citizenry it will continue to mainly serve those that placed them there. The Court’s reliance on precedent gives them liberty to continue to do what they have always done which is to serve white people, with corporations and the rich at the top of the hierarchy. It’s time to consider televised proceedings, term and/or age limits and a selection process where approval is not dependent on the almost all-white Senate.

Rigged Elections

Donald Trump is crying about the “rigged elections” that don’t reflect the will of the people. When he starts fighting against gerrymandering and voter suppression I’ll give a damn.