Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The différance of Reality in Trump World, My World, the USA and the Political Reality of Trump's Future Presidency in the Actual World



I have gotten about halfway through “Mr. Popular,” an article in this past Sunday New York Times Magazine, and have had to stop reading, as I am too disturbed to continue. The Article is about Andy Cohen creator of Real Housewives and Watch What Happens reality shows empire, and the sub text in the article, the relationship reality TV has to our current reality show election, president elect, Donald Trump and the presidency to come. I must ask why I’m so disturbed in order to understand my own participation in “The Donald Runs for President Show,” and the “Trump President Elect Show” as they have been performed on the stage of world politics. The most difficult part of all this – I must try to understand how I will perform in The “Trumpty Dumpty Presidency Reality Show,” about to begin.

The most telling moment in “Mr. Popular” happens at the beginning when a stagehand on Cohen’s set for season seven of the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion show says when asked if a fireplace on the TV set is a working fireplace, “It’s not, not a fireplace,” That statement indicates the “actuality” of reality TV, because just like the entire set, the fireplace isn’t a fake fireplace. It is a fake, fake fireplace and It just looks like a fake or a real fireplace. So, the set for the production is removed two steps, that is differed from reality as is the nasty rhetoric of the mean spirited argumentative women orchestrated by Cohen.*2 Later, in a conversation between the article’s author and one of the women in the show we are told that she actually feels “like [she is] walking to the electric chair” though she is participating in a television show performance, and knows that it is a performance directed by Cohen whom she also sees as being like “Jesus,” in that she can ask for things to be a certain way, but he may or may not grant that request.

Unfortunately, in the actual world of US politics all this orchestrated mean spiritedness does affect the position of our culture, society and country in the real world. I find myself reacting to the bizarre concatenation of events surrounding Trumps run for president - his performance as president elect, vituperous tweets, choice of associates, and now cabinet - in unsettling ways. I am angry and have been performing that anger in mean spirited ways on Facebook and in this Blog, Trumpageddon 101. In fact, the name I’ve coined, “Trumpty Dumpty” is directly related to Donald Trump’s use of diminutive terms to denigrate political opponents, though I would hardly place myself on the same playing field as, Donald Trump in that regard. However, I, Donald Trump, and we as a nation are performing a complicated and mean spirited game with world players for whom this is no political game. We have effectively removed (differed) ourselves from actuality, playing our parts on an actual world stage with actual consequences in world politics, We are all playing with fire.

Notes

Brodesser-Akner, Taffy, “Mr. Popular,” New York Times Magazine, Sunday, January 15, 2017 (35-39).

*1 Fleck, Ludwig. The Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1981. I am using the word, “actuality” in the way it was used by Ludwig, Fleck in The Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. In that text, Fleck uses “actuality” to denote the world in which facts matter, as opposed to the reality of diurnal performance on the stage of scientific discourse.

*2 Derrida, Jacques, Writing and Difference, University of Chicago Press; Reprint edition, February 15, 1978. I am using (differed) here in the sense of différance as used by Derrida, as distance in understanding and placement of reality.

Krasner, David, Saltz, David Z., Editors, Staging Philosophy: Intersections of Theater, Performance and Philosophy, University of Michigan Press (2010),

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Choose Your Friends Carefully

He who has his enemy's love and trust is in a far better position to attack, later, when the time is right.
K.J. Parker, Devices and Desires

I’ve been reading the dossier on Donald Trump and his compromised relationship with the Kremlin put together by the former British spy, Christopher Steel who is now in hiding in fear for his life, as well as watching and reading all the controversy in the news media surrounding it. One thing is certain, if only 5 percent of the information contained in Company Intelligence Report 2016/080 can be verified as accurate and correct, our president elect is in grave danger in so many ways, including the possibility of impeachment. However, since James Comey will either resign or be replaced, and all the other heads of the intelligence agencies will also be replaced, I doubt that we will ever know how much of this report can be verified.

There is so much mayhem surrounding the election of Donald Trump that I wonder how it will be reported in future history. I hesitate to give the collective issues - Russian interference in our election process in favor of Trump and against Clinton, the queer, and I’m using the term in its more general meaning, “odd," love Trump seems to have for Vladimir Putin, Trump’s own misogynistic self aggrandizing personality, James Comey, the FBI directors meddling in the election process, the above mentioned document, and the xenophobia and racism that festers within the entire 2016 election process, as well as within Trump’s coterie of advisers, not to mention Trump's conflicts of interest between his company and the Presidency - a name or title. I wonder if such is possible. One thing for certain, our President Elect is in one heck of a muddled, and I think dangerous mess even before he takes over the most important Job in the world. If I could offer Donald Trump any advice, I would tell him to 1) divest, and 2) mind his back, his front, and beware of the man he would like to befriend.

Note

Trump-Intelligence-Alligations.pdf, Confidential/Sensitive Source: Company Intelligence Report 2016/080, Christopher Steel, on Buzzfeed, https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html. Originally posted on Jan. 10, 2017, at 6:20 p.m.Updated on Jan. 10, 2017, at 9:09 p.m., Viewed 10:45 PM, EST, Saturday, January 14, 2017.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

"Indivisible," the new guide by former Congressional staffers tells how to organize local grass roots anti Trump groups. It is down loadable.

There is a group in my local town and I will join it.



The pamphlet looks at how the Tea Party was formed 8 years ago to fight against President Obamas huge mandate. It goes on to use the The Tea Party template to form a huge grass roots movement against the pathetic Electoral College win / popular vote loss "mandate" that Trumpty Dumpty has to destroy the USA as we know it.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Vladimir Putin Goes Phishing: a fictional playlet

(2015 AD, somewhere in the Russian countryside at one of Vladimir Putin’s many estates)

Putin to Rex Tillerson: Here’s the plan, Rex. We phish our way into the Democratic Party’s and John Podesta’s Servers, feed all the e-mail to Wiki leaks…

Rex: Will Wiki leaks cooperate?

Putin: Da, Julian is in my pocket too. You should not interrupt me my friend. Besides you know I always have everything under control.

Rex: True enough.

Putin: So, as agreed, I, Russia that is, help get Trumpty Dumpty elected just like we have done with small fry in the Balkans. Then you just have to make sure he picks you to be Secretary of State, and we make deals and we all get richer together, da?

Rex: Sounds good to me, Vlad. But we’ve got to get all of the American government to go with us.

Putin: Shouldn’t be a problem, no?

Rex: Well, both houses of congress are in Republican hands, so if Dumpty picks the right cabinet and department heads we can get rid of much of the bureaucracy, causing much confusion and leaving control in the hands of Dumpty's cabinet members. The Republican Congress will be too busy getting rid of Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to bother with us.

Putin: And you will work with Russia to make big oil money for Dumpty, Exxon Mobile, yourself and Russia, Absotyutno!

Rex: Absolyutno, Vladimir! (They both laugh and pat one another on the back.)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Is the USA a Vassal State of Russia?

Trump’s and the Republican’s BIG “American Idea”
(Trump owns the “American Idea” trade mark by the way.)

1. Is it a con job on the voter to make the USA a vassal state of Putin’s Russia
2. to make the president elect more money and give him more power
3. to help the super rich and global corporations further enrich themselves
4. to slash taxes on super rich corporations and send more jobs overseas
5. to cut social security and Medicare benefits on the middle class?
6. to destroy our education system
7. to totally destroy the middle class.


8. Is it a plan implicit with Russian collusion to make us a White Supremacist superrich oligarchy tied to Russian oil?

I’m not saying, just thinking that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and, you know the rest.

And Where the Hell Is My Democratic Party?
Hiding and licking its wounds!

Notes

Entous, Adam, Nakashima, Ellen, and Miller, Greg, “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win the White House,” The Washington Post. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/). Published 10:45 PM EST, December 9, 2016, viewed and read 10:50 AM, Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Sanger, David E. and Shane, Scott, “Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, U.S. Concludes,” New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/) Published December 9, 2016, Viewed 10:56 AM, EST, Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Bennet, Brian, Hennigan, W. J., “Obama orders full review of Russian Hacking of the 2016 election,” Los Angeles Times, (http://www.latimes.com/). Published 6:35 PM PT., viewed Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Sobel, Robert, “Donald Trump team responds to bombshell CIA report confirming Russia hacked election,” Blasting News at http://us.blastingnews.com/. Published December 9, 2016. Viewed and read 11:15 AM EST., Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What Are the Moral Obligations of Citizens as Voters in Our 21st Century Democracy?

1. Monarchs believed God had given them the right to rule absolutely. Today monarchs rule by right of royal prerogative, limited by constitutions and democratically elected bodies/parliaments.(notes a and b below)

2. Instead in our Democracy the citizen, also limited and granted freedoms and rights by constitution and Bill of Rights has the moral responsibility whether God given or not to vote responsibly for those who will rule in his/her name.  What do philosophy and the humanities have to say about the moral obligations of rule by monarchs versus the people’s obligations in voting in a democracy? (See notes c through g below)

3. I maintain that in the immediately past election approximately 62 million voters did not vote responsibly, and cast their ballots for an Alt-right (reads White Supremacist/Neo-Nazi aided in the election by a foreign power and fake news) candidate and many of these voters continue to listen to and read fake news and act irresponsibly. (fake news "h" in notes below)

4. So, I ask what is the responsibility of the approximately 65 million citizens who voted responsibly and did not vote for the White Supremacist/Neo-Nazi candidate?

5. What about the millions of citizens that didn’t bother to vote in the election? Do the actual voters have a responsibility to make law that requires and penalizes voters who do not vote?

Notes

a. “The Divine Right of Kings,” New World Encyclopedia, http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Divine_Right_of_Kings. L ast modified on 17 October 2008, at 10:11 GT, viewed 10:51 EST, Thursday, December 8, 2016

b. “Royal Prerogative,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_prerogative. last modified on 19 November 2016, at 01:42., viewed 11:02, Thursday, December 8, 2016

c. “What Does it Mean To Be a Citizen In a Democracy? Ohio literacy Network, at http://literacy.kent.edu/Oasis/Resc/Educ/saintro.html. Last Updated: 09/23/2016 11:34:2, viewed 11:08 PM, Thursday, December 8, 2016.

d. Gregorian, Vartan, “American Voters Are Responsible For Protecting Democracy,” Time Magazine. http://time.com/4554937/citizen-responsibility-democracy-tocqueville/. November 2, 2016, viewed, Thursday, 11:15 PM, December 8, 2016.

e. De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America Translated by Henry Reeve, Esq. With an Original Preface and Notes by John C. Spencer. New York: Adlard and Saunders, 1838. xxx, 464 pp. Reprinted 2003 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. LCCN 2002025957. ISBN 1-58477-249-2.

f. “The Ethics of Voting,” The Art of Theory: a Journal of Scholarly Conversation” at http://www.artoftheory.com/the-ethics-of-voting/. Except where noted, all materials freely distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Viewed 11:27 PM EST, Thursday, December 8, 2016.

g. “Voting as an Ethical Issue,” Princeton University Press, (pdf) http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i9464.pdf. Except where noted, all materials freely distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Viewed and saved, 11:30 PM EST, Thursday, December 8, 2016

h. "Fake News Website," Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_website. Last modified 4:10 GMT, December 9, 2016. viewed 11:38 PM EST, Thursday, December 8, 2-16)

Monday, December 5, 2016

"Alt-Right", a Euphemism for "Neo-Nazi"



The title of this article represents my opinion though a thorough reading of magazine and newspaper articles written before and after Donald Trump’s election to the Presidency of the United States strongly substantiates my opinion. The term “Alt-Right” was first stated 8 years ago as the “alternative right” by Paul Gottfried in an address to the H. L. Mencken Club.1 An article written six months before the election suggests that members of the Alt-Right view themselves as jokesters.4 However, the current version “Alt-Right” appears to have been put into general use by Richard Spencer of The National Policy Institute, a White Supremacist organization. Mr. Spencer calls for ‘”peaceful ethnic cleansing” and wishes for a “new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans.”2 He also views Donald Trump’s victory as a crude first step toward that goal suggesting anything but a joke.

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist, and former Executive Chair of Breitbart News the far right Website that publishes xenophobic, misogynistic, racist, anti-Semitic and sexist material is clearly aligned with the values of the alternative right. In “Trolls for Trump,” Andrew Marantz, states the following about the term “Alt-Right” and Donald Trump

The term [Alt-Right] typically applies to conservatives and reactionaries who are active on the Internet and too anti-establishment to feel at home in the Republican Party. Bizarrely, this category includes the Republican nominee for President.5

While current newspaper and magazine articles indicate the close association of the Alt-Right with Donald Trump, the authors hesitate to identify this loose group of Internet hipsters as Neo-Nazis. Why? A close reading of the articles as a group, ‘articles about Donald Trump and the Alt-Right,’ allows the designation, White Supremacist and Neo-Nazi.

Notes

1. Gottfried, Paul, “The Decline and Rise of the Alternative Right,” The Unz Review at http://www.unz.com/article/the-decline-and-rise-of-the-alternative-right/. Published November 21-22, 2008. Viewed 9:32 PM EST, Saturday, December 3, 2016. In the same article, Mr. Graham writes that Richard Spencer identifies Donald Trump’s victory (again I am paraphrasing) as a crude first step toward the above goal.

2. Graham, Chris, “Nazi salutes and white supremacism: Who is Richard Spencer, the ‘racist academic’ behind the ‘Alt right’ movement,” in The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/richard-spencer-white-nationalist-leading-alt-right-movement/. Published November 22, 2016, viewed 8:47 EST, Saturday, December 3, 2016. The article in the UK paper makes no bones about the Alt-Right, identifying Spencer as “the leader of the Alt-right” and that movement with White Supremacism.

3. McAfee, Tierney, “What is the Alt-Right Anyway? A User’s Guide,” People Magazine, http://people.com/celebrity/what-is-the-alt-right-inside-the-movement-hillary-clinton-links-to-donald-trump/. 3:45 PM, EDT, August 25, 2016, Viewed 8:14 PM EST, December 3, 2016.

4. Wallace-Wells, Benjamin. “Is the Alt-Right For Real?” The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/news/benjamin-wallace-wells/is-the-alt-right-for-real. Published May 6, 2016, Viewed 8:22 PM EST, Saturday, December 3, 2016. The article refers to the Alt-Right as a (and I’m paraphrasing) loose group of fringe elements [including Richard Spencer’s group of White Supremacists, The National Policy Institute] that have little to do with the general population of republicans. The same article refers to the group’s performance as a “joke.”


5. Marantz, Andrew, “Trolls for Trump,” in The New Yorker, on line at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/31/trolls-for-trump. Published October 31, 2016, viewed 9:12 PM EST, Saturday, December 3, 2016. The article identifies the Alt-Right as a category, not a particular group, but includes Donald Trump as part of the Alt-Right.