Words

Life

this blog is my beard

by Andrea Elizabeth

Usually one says that about a gay man who marries a woman to hide from society. I like the idea of hiding from society. Maybe I’m autistic. I am painfully sensitive to social interaction, but I can force myself. Now it’s pretty much to the point of only when necessary. Back to the beard, there’s an article on the internet about transgender people perhaps being autistic. But would I really like to have a beard to hide? Not really. Seems kinda itchy, wiry, hard to keep clean and frankly, masculine. How about a hat and sunglasses? Also obstructive and cumbersome. What I really like is not wearing glasses. There’s nothing separating me from the reality that I can’t see. This type of ignorance is bliss. I can see blurry but pretty colors. It’s like the broadest stroked impressionist painting. The people seem really far away and not much to do with me. No one gets in my face close enough to focus on. What I want to focus on, like my phone and my cross stitch, are small enough for me to handle and bring within a couple of inches of my eyes. Maybe we weren’t meant to have glasses, Ben Franklin. Maybe God made most people blurry on purpose.

Drain the swamp

by Andrea Elizabeth

It’s obvious CNN is translating its capitals from Clinton Network News to the Russian pronunciation of C to become Smear Network News. They bend over backward to provide the most lopsided view that rivals the national enquirer in credibility. Then they cry foul when Trump won’t answer their questions for their passing off fake news.

They have yet to retract that their “credible”, “explosive” information was actually in an unmentioned “intelligence” folder titled “disinformation”. Trump rightly wonders who leaked contents of his secret briefing to CNN right before the inauguration. 

McCain was the one who delivered it to the FBI last summer. And come to find out, the source, a British spy, was privately hired by Republicans against Trump (the same ones against Tillerson) and then by Clinton’s campaign. How crazy that it’s Donald Trump who has to drain this swamp.

Thoughts on today’s news

by Andrea Elizabeth

1. The Intelligence community is furthering the appropriateness of scare quotes around their adjective.

2. Is it time to bring John Wayne back from the grave to head the state department? I miss liking John Wayne, so I think so. 

3. Little Marco wants to start wwiii. Thank goodness Tillerson is smart enough not to call Putin a war criminal.

I don’t know about “the end of history” but…

by Andrea Elizabeth

This article is one of the best, most comprehensive analyses of why Donald Trump: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/after-the-end-of-history/

As much as it seems accurate on the post cold war era and Hillary’s candidacy, I think it still falls short of understanding Donald Trump. Take these two excerpts.

“Through whatever combination of intuition and malice aforethought, Trump demonstrated a genius for motivating those deplorables. He pushed their buttons. They responded by turning out in droves to attend his rallies. There they listened to a message that they found compelling.

In Trump’s pledge to “make America great again” his followers heard a promise to restore everything they believed had been taken from them in the Age of Great Expectations. Globalization was neither beneficial nor inevitable, the candidate insisted, and vowed, once elected, to curb its effects along with the excesses of corporate capitalism, thereby bringing back millions of lost jobs from overseas. He would, he swore, fund a massive infrastructure program, cut taxes, keep a lid on the national debt, and generally champion the cause of working stiffs. The many complications and contradictions inherent in these various prescriptions would, he assured his fans, give way to his business savvy.

… Not that Trump had anything to say about whether freedom confers obligations, or whether conspicuous consumption might not actually hold the key to human happiness, or any of the various controversies related to gender, sexuality, and family. He was indifferent to all such matters. He was, however, distinctly able to offer his followers a grimly persuasive explanation for how America had gone off course and how the blessings of liberties to which they were entitled had been stolen. He did that by fingering as scapegoats Muslims, Mexicans, and others “not-like-me.”

I don’t get “malice” from him. If he was playing to the crowd, I think he was strategic if not sincere. I believe he does care about them and mostly agrees with their struggles, and thus whole-hog fed into their sense of being ignored and their outrage at being labeled. He defended them by labeling back.

As far as the promise to solve things by his “business savvy”, that seems too simplistic unless you are including in that his intuition, pragmatism, and fearless ability to not suffer fools.

On the moralizing next paragraph, he is refreshingly guilty. We are so tired of being preached to by morally superior leftist identity politicians. I am angry at them telling me that if I loved Song of the South, Little Black Sambo, and The Little Rascals as a kid, I’m guilty of racism, and these should be confiscated and burned.

I don’t think he is promising utopia, but he does believe in work. His biggest criticism of Hillary was that she didn’t have stamina. It seems to me that her health did fail her in July after a brutal schedule that she had to scale back, and which may have caused her, that or poor advice, to not have enough energy to visit key states enough. He believes in winning and success, but not some blissful dream that has taken a while to burst.

And he believes in legality and security, not in fingering those “not like me”. That quality wasn’t what he pointed to. It was illegal drugs (his brother died prematurely of alcoholism and he says he never drinks – not that that’s illegal, but anyway), and terror attacks. People shouldn’t have to live with illegal problems. If the laws are unjust, change them with consensus, don’t break them. He’s agnostic and apophatic about what fair work and trade conditions will bring besides success. It’s like saying don’t take medicine or exercise because they’re lying to you about how happy it’ll make you.

The left had 8 years to prove socialism was a better choice. In this election it was legally voted out. Now the right has an opportunity to show that fairer working conditions and taxation is the way to go. Let’s see.

I heard one pundit say that Trump’s team says the tax cuts to corporations will not be like Bush’s. They want a national sales tax to supplement it. This could work if conditions were fair and targeted rich people and not poor people. Make buying multi million dollar homes come with a hefty sin tax, as it were.

Racism/Xenophobia

by Andrea Elizabeth

Yes racism still exists in our country where non-white western extracted people are deemed inferior and unnecessary. I’ll briefly say that Trump and his followers have been effectively but erroneously tarred and feathered by the manipulative opposition as this type of racist. And that this unfair characterization is the reason actual racists like him, and many other people hate him. And yes his platform is actually about illegal immigrants who have put a drain on our society with drug trafficking, crimes, and job taking.

Anyway, I, and my fellow southerners/republicans may not speak out against actual racism enough. Those of us in predominantly white areas see it mostly on the news, such as the Rodney King incident, or that horrible car dragging incident in southeast Texas, the North Carolina church shooter, and police dash cams, though some of the charges have been revealed that a justifiable threat was present. The complaint I’ve heard most is that black people get pulled over more often than white people. Here’s an interesting but inconclusive article on that.

I think people politically on the right see these incidents like other stories in the news of murders and child abuses. These are perpetrated by criminals not related to me, and whom the justice system and those more closely affected deal with.

The racism activists think it’s a more endemic problem evidenced by widespread soft racism stories like people clutching their belongings if a black person is coming towards them, and the perpetuation of conditions that stifle black, in particular, advancement. Towards Latin Americans it’s more of an expectation that they are more worthy of menial labor. It’s probably more mixed with Asian people because they outperform white people in school, but there’s still some unfair associations probably with the laundry stereotype and Pearl Harbor.

I was very surprised to hear Tavist Smiley ask a black professor, can’t remember his name, why black people buy into the notion that they are inferior. This really shocked me. I think when one feels inferior they protest louder and are more sensitive to possible insults. This is not to say there aren’t plenty of oppressing factors, but I also feel some of the more exaggerated claims of racism are sort of a post traumatic stress response. I suppose I want people to consider that all cries of racism are not justified.

For example, I heard one black guy say that he also clutches his belongings if another black guy in a hoodie approaches him. Thank you for admitting that, sir. The black population in prison problem probably also includes a chicken and egg conundrum producing a vicious cycle. And black on black crime is also a thing.

I think one of my biggest agitations is the grunt work stigma. There are so many reasons I don’t sympathize with Cinderella. Hand labor is what has been wrongfully demeaned. The mostly white (is this not true?) produced automation in this society is wrongfully deemed superior. It is producing a bunch of fat, lazy, whiney, stressed, mentally ill people. I really do believe the stone age to be more virtuous and healthy, if it weren’t for the imported small pox that ruined that way of life. High tech germs need high tech, expensive medicine. bummer.In other words, be proud of burning calories and working out your energy instead of it caving in on you. There’s no shame in vacuuming floors and making beds. I think this will have to do for the immigrant contribution question but I do have the impression that non-white cultures haven’t valued technological development as much as the west. I’m willing to to be corrected on that. And it’s hard to sift out their other contributions to our language and music and other ways of life. My favorite as a Texan are all the Mexican words and influences in our vintage cowboy culture. Not to mention their food.

I also think that people shouldn’t get so up in arms about one word someone said 30 years ago. The biggest complaint about Jeff Sessions that I’ve heard was that he referred to one guy as “boy” a long time ago. This is a cultural thing that used to be normal. It is a fallout of a slave society. I have an older generation family member who used that word recently. If everyone in your small town used it, you probably will unthinkingly use it as well. I do not consider that isolated incident worthy of ruining someone’s reputation and to be turned down from a job. I don’t mind racial quotas to some extent because we are supposed to consider past cultural influences that may make certain people not as eligible by certain standards. I think the same consideration should be given to white people too regarding their past cultural influences in using some words.

 

The peaceful religion

by Andrea Elizabeth

A very informative film, “Among the Believers“, documents the tensions in Pakistan surrounding the Red Mosque whose madrasah taught impoverished Pakistani youth, sent there by parents who couldn’t afford to care for them, Islamic Extremism. The opposition to the Sharia law promoted there was granted a televised debate with the cleric of the Red Mosque. The cleric said he was standing up for the Koran’s jihad and Sharia law. The Pakistani professor in western clothes could only say, please quit teaching our youth to kill and abuse people. He didn’t site the Koran or anything religious beyond peace and niceness. I came away reinforced that nice, peaceful Muslims are secular and nominal and not religious.

all the king’s horses

by Andrea Elizabeth

19 year old Carrie Fisher was able to play Princess Leia so well because when a child is left by their father, Eddie Fisher for Elizabeth Taylor, they are used to carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. But this takes it’s toll on a child, and even the Unsinkable Molly Brown, Debbie Reynolds, was not able to keep her child together. But she was there to pick up the pieces. Rest in peace Carrie and Debbie.

One more thing, well two 

by Andrea Elizabeth

And about the Access Hollywood thing. His other derogatory comments were not about women in general, but were equal opportunity nick-namings about specific people he was criticizing. I have purposefully not listened to the AH tape because it was secretly recorded by a person who was goading him into a conversation that to his admitted shame he didn’t back down from but typically trumped. I do not take the oft repeated, by holier than hims (holiers than him?), snippet literally. Again, his posturing isn’t a religion to him, it’s a sport. Putin has been looking for a playmate to whom he can back down as he quickly and happily did with the nuclear tweet war Putin started.* Obama and Hillary are too boring and uninspiring to play with even though Hillary was enjoying it (insert debate shimmy http://giphy.com/gifs/hillary-clinton-debate-shaq-26uf5YvN8Td27IrFm).

*”Trump’s tweet came shortly after Vladimir Putin spoke about strengthening Russia’s nuclear triad – the strategy of relying on nuclear weapons based on land, in submarines and on long-range bombers — in his traditional year-end press conference.”
“Donald Trump’s tweet that “the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes” ignited a stage-four meltdown among his critics.” https://www.google.com/amp/www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2016/12/26/putin-already-playing-nuclear-poker-with-trump/?client=safari

And it took Putin to school the outraged American holiers, “there’s nothing unusual here.” I’m so glad Russia and Israel get him and are willing to explain it to the political religionists. 

here’s the whole interview. skip to 3:14 for tea set appreciation

by Andrea Elizabeth

Dilbert’s Scott Adams on why he switched to Trump

by Andrea Elizabeth

First let me say that my favorite pundit reaction to Putin’s awesome Christmas party invitation is “he’s playing chess and Obama’s playing checkers”. Trump started the Trump Tower charm offensive luxury party invites. Today the ABC Sunday host invited Donna Brazile and Newt Gingrich to a fancy tea party and it’s the best strategic convo I’ve seen. She loved the fancy teacup and they smiled and shook hands at the end.

  
(wish the pic showed the tea set but you can kind of see the background.)

Back to Scott Adams and Trump’s strategy:

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/150919416661/why-i-switched-my-endorsement-from-clinton-to [Trump]
5. Pacing and Leading: Trump always takes the extreme position on matters of safety and security for the country, even if those positions are unconstitutional, impractical, evil, or something that the military would refuse to do. Normal people see this as a dangerous situation. Trained persuaders like me see this as something called pacing and leading. Trump “paces” the public – meaning he matches them in their emotional state, and then some. He does that with his extreme responses on immigration, fighting ISIS, stop-and-frisk, etc. Once Trump has established himself as the biggest bad-ass on the topic, he is free to “lead,” which we see him do by softening his deportation stand, limiting his stop-and-frisk comment to Chicago, reversing his first answer on penalties for abortion, and so on. If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump look scary. If you understand pacing and leading, you might see him as the safest candidate who has ever gotten this close to the presidency. That’s how I see him.

So when Clinton supporters ask me how I could support a “fascist,” the answer is that he isn’t one. Clinton’s team, with the help of Godzilla, have effectively persuaded the public to see Trump as scary. The persuasion works because Trump’s “pacing” system is not obvious to the public. They see his “first offers” as evidence of evil. They are not. They are technique.

And being chummy with Putin is more likely to keep us safe, whether you find that distasteful or not. Clinton wants to insult Putin into doing what we want. That approach seems dangerous as hell to me.

6. Persuasion: Economies are driven by psychology. If you expect things to go well tomorrow, you invest today, which causes things to go well tomorrow, as long as others are doing the same. The best kind of president for managing the psychology of citizens – and therefore the economy – is a trained persuader. You can call that persuader a con man, a snake oil salesman, a carnival barker, or full of shit. It’s all persuasion. And Trump simply does it better than I have ever seen anyone do it.

The battle with ISIS is also a persuasion problem. The entire purpose of military action against ISIS is to persuade them to stop, not to kill every single one of them. We need military-grade persuasion to get at the root of the problem. Trump understands persuasion, so he is likely to put more emphasis in that area.

Most of the job of president is persuasion. Presidents don’t need to understand policy minutia. They need to listen to experts and then help sell the best expert solutions to the public. Trump sells better than anyone you have ever seen, even if you haven’t personally bought into him yet. You can’t deny his persuasion talents that have gotten him this far.

In summary, I don’t understand the policy details and implications of most of either Trump’s or Clinton’s proposed ideas. Neither do you. But I do understand persuasion. I also understand when the government is planning to confiscate the majority of my assets. And I can also distinguish between a deeply unhealthy person and a healthy person, even though I have no medical training. (So can you.)”