Truth & Profanity

To the Slack-Jaw Art Critics of all political slants,

There seems to be two distinct categories of adverse political resistance to this provocative photo by Kathy Griffin: A) the political left argues that it is in poor taste and side-rails conduits of reasoned political discourse and B) the political right also argues that it is in poor taste, but also that it demeans and degrades the institution of the President of the United States.  The outcry of response forced Kathy Griffin to apologize and to claim ‘she went too far’ with this artistic work that I simply call, a work of art.   Continue reading “Truth & Profanity”

Trump, the Mobster, Will not be Impeached (easily) 

The purpose of this article is not to argue for or against any of the potential accusations against Trump (collusion or obstruction), nor is it to support/oppose the idea of his impeachment.   The purpose, rather, is to make the argument that Trump is — in simplest terms — a gangster and the reason he will not be impeached is not because he is innocent, but rather it is because the subtext of the the art of the deal is a dog whistle for how to legitimately apply mobster techniques to business.  And now that he is the president, it stands to reason that he will apply these same techniques to politics.

The strongest argument against Trump will be the obstruction of justice argument, but what the left-leaning torch-mob is failing to grasp when they go down this path, is that Trump has built his entire career on the back of his only true skill-set — finding methods to legally obstruct justice.  In consideration of the thousands of lawsuits that stem from small business that he put out of business by drowning them in legal costs after he defrauded them or the many accusations of sexual assault, surely if the world was just he’d be poor, imprisoned and the very willing bitch of some large black man who had his application rejected by a Trump-owned apartment building in the 1970’s because of the color of his skin.  But, the world is not just, so I will not revel in fantasy.

Firstly, as we have learned from the recent leaks about Comey and his “memos” is that anything and everything that Trump potentially said that could be incriminating was said when it was just the two of them.  Now, recall that backyard BBQ scene in Goodfellas where Henry explains how Paulie operated by only talking to people one-on-one and only dealt with a small handful of people who he trusted (  So Trump mobster trick #1: condition who you openly speak with to those who are loyal and trusting, and whenever possible speak one-on-one so it’s always a matter of he-said/she-said. 

Secondly, Trump all-to-casually suggested that he may have recorded Comey without his knowledge.  This leads us to mobster trick #2: do whatever you can to ensure you ‘have something’ on the people you condition into your ‘inner-circle’ so if they ever turn on you, you can intimidate them into not talking.  After Trump posted that tweet, many articles came out about how Trump would commonly record phone calls (without their knowledge) in business as a means of creating leverage against them.   In other words, when people deal with Trump — and this happens almost immediately — he automatically and instinctually conditions all engagements by strategically concealing and revealing certain things to create trust and loyalty, whilst always maintaining the upper-hand of knowledge and power.

Thirdly, if you Google ‘Trump not using email’ you will find dozens of articles going back a decade discussing how Trump in 2008 did not have a computer in his home or in the office, and it was not until 2013 that he started using email, but even then (and now) he uses it very sparingly.  He generally prefers to speak with people in person and face to face.  Most of the articles accredit this to him being old-school and just an old-man who is unwilling to adapt with technology.  However, for example, my dad (who is around the same age as Trump) does no text and does not email (and when he does it is odd and confusing, because he does not understand the medium) — however, my dad does not use twitter either.  I do not think you can accuse somebody who is that active on Twitter of being a technophobe without some seriously unjustified qualifier.  We can return to Goodfellas again to explain this third technique.  There is a scene in Goodfellas where they explain that Paulie never uses the phone, but instead he talks to people one-on-one and then they go and act-on his wishes and use phones as necessary.  The reason for this is to limit opportunities for the police to ‘phone tap’ and record Paulie making illegal demands/requests of his foot-soldiers.  Trump in the modern era, applies this technique to email.  Ergo, mobster trick #3: ensure there is no paper trail of communication to connect you with the actions of the people serving under you.

Fourthly, Trump intentionally and vigorously stirs the pot of truth.  If the previous points were accurate then it could be counter-argued that Trump very openly illustrates his desire to obstruct justice and intimidate witnesses (as it follows from his interviews and Twitter feed), so this flies in the face of saying he prefers to speak one-on-one and intentionally limit his audience. Mobster trick #4: overtly reveal what is in the left hand so they become uninterested in your right hand.  This also can be articulated as keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.  So, in this sense, he is intentionally revealing to his enemies (the left-leaning media and democratic party) as an act of keeping them close and acutely focused on exactly what he wants them to acutely focus on.  This was best illustrated in Breaking Bad in how Gustavo was active friends with the DEA and contributed to their charities and made a huge effort to be seen as a friend to the police.  Granted, Trump is doing it in a completely different way but the result is the same.  And, lastly, from the same pieces of evidence we get to mobster trick #5: obfuscate!   Trump has — very intentionally I posit — strategically deploys a very odd range of tweets that often make an inference from falsely attributed or non-existent evidence and then sometimes openly speak his utterances and opinions, or just his general disposition or judgments towards something specific.  If a lawyer — in an obstruction of justice case — ever wanted to hang their hat on something Trump said on Twitter, the defense would easily be able to produce literally dozens of tweets that are unsubstantiated, false, mere musings or are outright jokes — to, in other words, obfuscate the idea of Truth within the entire gamut of his twitter feed.  If so many of his tweets are so blatantly and demonstrably false, then how can we hang any credibility on any of it?  Maybe it’s all a farce — ahem, reasonable doubt.

In conclusion, maybe it is possible that somebody from the inner-circle will put party over president, or country over party/president and then maybe, and subsequently, we will learn what skeletons are hiding within the closets of his loyal staff.   Maybe the FBI or Senate or Congress will get wise and will stop trying to follow the witness-trail, but will instead follow the dead-Russian-trail and let that dictate the money-trail.  As we all know from the countless mob-movies we have seen (and from history), it is usually a dead body that piques the interest of law enforcement, but then in the end, its always white-collar crime that sinks the ship.  But, nonetheless, it will take a lot of political ammo to sink the ship of a mobster with executive privilege — the stress test of our justice system and democracy will ensue.

A Hopeful Memorial

Today is Memorial Day and we are bombarded with Facebook posts that ask us to take time to honor the men and women who have served our country and to not passively and disingenuously dismiss Monday as being only instrumental in allowing for a three-day weekend and an excuse to drink in excess with social acceptance. I understand the sentiment of this notion, as we should not take for granted the origin and sentiment behind this holiday or, any holiday, for that matter — but, if we take notice of the sacrifice made by soldiers, then it would be respectful to take notice what they sacrificed for. Continue reading “A Hopeful Memorial”

Trump in the Shadow of the Hegelian Ego

On September 15th, 2016, less than two months until the U.S. presidential election, the New York Times posted an opinion editorial titled When a Crackpot Runs for President, which asked — or, rather, fervently challenged — if the media is failing in their duties to honestly frame the narrative of Donald Trump relative to Hillary Clinton (Kristof 2016).  The looming subtext that lies in the shadow of the left-right rhetorical jabs of framing Trump as the climate-change-denying-crackpot is: What happen to reason?   Hegel once proclaimed, “reason rules the world” (Hegel 12) and in light of that we can look at the reasonable efficacy of Trump’s limelight-laden candidacy as representing either a challenge to the governing authority of Reason or, with heavy hand, a challenge to the Hegelian proposition, eo ipso, as wholly and fallaciously false.  The staunchly attentive run-of-the-mill liberal response to the aforementioned inquiry would surely go as the New York Times opines and see Trump as a challenge to reason and definitely not a challenge to Hegel.  And, notwithstanding that opinion and Trump’s fascist underpinning, the devout Hegelian may see Trump as a personification of Reason’s antithesis and will remain woefully idealistic and await the dialectical resolve as Reason acquiesces itself as being both in itself and for itself — there is a Reason for everything, even Trump.  With that, and that, said, the purpose of this reflection is not to echo the persistent opinion that Trump is a threat to reason, nor is it to rescue Hegel by reveling in the ignorant veil of the known-unknown of Absolute Spirit, but, rather I ask, is Trump a challenge to Hegel? Continue reading “Trump in the Shadow of the Hegelian Ego”

GOP Debate: Reductio ad Absurdum

I watched the GOP primary debate on youtube (so I can pause and rewind) and took extensive notes, with the goal of examining the quality of the debate (rather than the content itself).   The following is a short summary of my notes:

There were 146 total response to questions.
Of the 146 responses they actually answered the question proposed 45 times and of those 45 answers, 29 of them were to stupid questions.

Within their responses they managed to change topics 47 times and 7 of of those were to bash Obama, 2 were to bash Clinton and the record holder for topic changing is Bush with 6 times in 30 seconds.

They contradicted themselves within one sentence 7 times.

7 ad hominem, 3 emotional appeals and 5 times somebody managed to speak for 30 seconds without saying a word.

4 heartwarming stories about their family life.

3 people advocated war, 2 advocated diplomacy and twice they implied that electing a democrat was akin to the end of the world.

Trump said he would solve problems with friendliness — twice.

One person managed to implicitly criticize themselves within their own response.

Trump refuted a claim about his weak knowledge of international affairs by arguing that international affairs is a topic that nobody actually knows….I mean seriously, all those crazy Arab names? Nobody actually knows that shit. Right?

Only once was the ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’ argument used. Ok, this may have happened more than once.

Rand Paul was ONLY candidate to actually change a topic back to original question…but only once. Although Fiorina and Christie both made statements similar to ‘let’s get this back on topic’ but actually just changed to a completely new topic instead.

However, it was not a total disaster….here are the good parts:

There were a total of 7 well thought out responses (Paul 4, Bush, Walker & Huckabee)…..

And Jeb Bush used to smoke pot……


And the winner is……<drum roll>……SCOTT WALKER!!!

Why? Because he spoke the least (8 min. 29 seconds total).