The Haymaker, the Jabber and the Sucker Punchers

Standard

No question but that China has stolen as much intellectual and proprietary property as they could get their hands on in order to get a jump on even us, the inventors of much of the technology they now have. While we work to develop tech through government and private sectors, the Chinese government can focus full force on whatever target it has in its sights.  And no citizen can say NIMBY and live to say it again.

But China’s been burning through cash at an alarming rate.  The war with Trump is taking a toll.  Yet China has also filled the vacuum that our (“genius”) president created by withdrawing from TPP.

There are just so many tentacles that reach deep into the sinews of international trade that DJT’s unilateral approach will eventually weaken the USA’s trade and tech superiority, UNLESS his tenure is a brief moment on the world stage.  We know China takes the long view.
But In the short term, Trump’s threats may appear to gain the USA a slight advantage, but only for a brief moment.  And, for the moment, with the stock market booming and employment figures showing such a strong base, those of us who can will gladly pocket our winnings.

(But like the credo of the high wire iron-workers who put up the tall buildings and bridges across the world; “Don’t lean on the wind because when the wind dies…”).

I’ve had my experiences running a small international business, I’ve been at the wrong end of deceptive trade practices by foreign associates.  But I’ve had plenty of broken deals and promises from associates right here at home.  We’ve no premium on integrity in business.  Some of us are less naive than others, and international trade tends to weed out the ingenues pretty quickly. But learning cultural behavior and norms is part of sound international business dealings.  Knowing one’s trade partner (and possible competitor) is key to survival.  Yet there are ways to be tough and techniques to keep a productive trade relationship that require more than threats and flexed muscle as the glue to hold it together.

DJT uses the hammer in his diplomatic pouch. The Chinese play a much subtler game. They too have a hammer but it’s in a soft glove.  They practice Tai Chi and Wing Chun. Trump mugs it up with pro-wrestlers from McMann’s circus crowd.  He feigns a boxing stance to show his physicality.  He’s big, he’s lumbering, and he’s a target.  (Take it from a guy who’s spent his life in the martial arts.  The Chinese look at him
as a big, easy target. They’re wary of his unpredictability, but they’ve seen his ilk come and go over more than 55 centuries).

Who knows what the Putin’s Russian Bear sees when Trump comes barreling down on their world-shaping plans?  Is he a mark?  Do you give ANY credence to the claims regarding Trump having become a “useful idiot” for Putin?  Is this all just smoke being blown up the rear-end of a gullible America by the Press, that “enemy of the People?”

I think we’re stepping into a trap, sprung on a guy who just can’t tread lightly through the international minefield, a guy who can’t see the punch coming because he’s used to throwing haymakers, big knockout punches.   The Chinese and the Russians throw jabs. And the sucker punch is coming somewhere down the path.  At the end of this minefield of Trumpian threats and inconsistently applied sanctions, there will be a series of blows to a weakened midriff, and we’ll hear the great exhalation of breath as the wind is knocked out of the big guy’s policies.

Or, at the end of this Trumpian era, will his hammer/haymaker approach to world trade, the punitive policies he threatens with allies and foes alike have enough raw power to bend the world to kneel before American Might?

My guess is that we’ll win some but lose out in the long term if Trumpism survives the man in the office.

South Africa’s been Trumped (Uh Oh)

Standard

I have family in S.A. They surely know the truth regarding the statistics and anti-White activities in country. Let’s face it, it’s no picnic for former-Boer white landowners in South Africa or anywhere in Africa for that matter. Ask yourselves why. White farmers have brought prosperity to their families and communities. They’ve built the nation, but built it by keeping black Africans in actual or near-servitude. They vastly exploited black-African workers, seeding hatred while destroying deeply-rooted cultures. They stole tribal lands and forced former tribal communities into separate and unequal communities. Apartheid governments did their best to do their worst for Blacks. Of course, we in the USA have our own history of land-grab policies dating back to almost our very earliest steps on our soil. So:” To the victors have gone the soils “(if you’ll pardon the alteration of an age-old saying).

As this article points out, the new government intends to confiscate (or, perhaps a word they may consider more appropriate) “repatriate” non-utilized lands owned by whites. They are “promising” they won’t confiscate actively farmed white-owned lands. Well, that’s a pretty shaky guarantee from what is, essentially, a hostile government. But Trump’s championing a White Power construct is yet another example of his unthinking, uneducated and prejudicially-racist support of the worst in us, our ignorant and deep racial fear of the Black Man’s rise from second and third-class status in what has been – and continues to be – a White world (unless one counts the Yellow and Tawny-colored populations that overwhelmingly out-populate Whites on the planet).

Well, if you’ve noted the newest find, that of a 90,000 year old female, the first genetic example of Neanderthal mother crossbreeding with a Denisovan father, you’ll no-doubt understand that white color is; to quote from Wikipedia: “All three primary colors showing, the result is white. When red and green combine, the result is yellow.”

So, where do we go from here? And how does an American President who has exhibited similar anti-Black policies as a real estate developer and President, enter a foreign government’s struggle to deal with a violent and murderous racist past? Does he do it by causing yet more anti-White sentiment in S.A? Surely, his blundering onto that stage without an intelligent script just adds to the reality of who he really is and what he believes. But, having said all this, it is surely understandable that Whites in S.A. have equal rights with Blacks and, even with a past history of earlier unjust and terrible wrongs, White S.A. citizens are living in the present, where a democratic government must consider White rights equally under the mantle of a fair and equitable governing principle. If the government fails to live up to this standard, perhaps USA policies might shift toward trade-related penalties. We’ll see where this goes. The eyes of the world are watching.

On DJT’s Summit with Vlad:

Standard

You’ve Gotten Under My Skin
(With apologies to Cole Porter)

You’ve gotten under my skin.
You’ve gotten deep in control of me.
So deep’s your control that you own every part of me.
You’ve gotten under my skin.
I’ve tried so hard not to give in.
I said to myself, my Russian affairs never went so well.
And how to resist when, Vlad, you know me too well
And you’ve gotten under my skin?
I’ve sacrificed everything to prepare for the fight
To survive from havin’ you near
In spite of a warnin’ voice giving me quite a fright
That repeats and repeats in my ear,
Yes I know I’m your fool who never can win,
I’ve not the ability, to break away from this fealty.
And each time that I try, just the thought of it
Reminds me that the dreaded pain will begin
Cause you’ve taken over my skin.
I would sacrifice everything come what might
For the sake of just breaking free
In spite of the warning voice that comes in the night
And repeats, and it yells loud at me,
Don’t I know that I mustn’t try to break free
Vlad has tapes that show what I pig I have been
And each time I try just the thought brings the fear of the pickle I’m in.
‘Cause, Vlad, you’ve gotten under my skin.

With apologies to Cole Porter
July 5, 2018
G. Manning

When Loyalty Precedes Abandonment of Principle

Standard

Make your own judgment. Maybe “cult” is too strong a word (at this point), but when good people accept the outrageous behavior, the lies and obfuscations of this President as “justified,” the cards have been dealt and the hand is in play. Who wins this one? Common decency? Real diplomacy? Humanitarian fealty to our better angels? Or the super-pragmatist who takes the Machiavellian Method to an extreme not ever considered as even possible in our nation. Strength is one thing. Brutality is another. Brutality can take many forms, not just the use of outright physical force.  Brutality and bullying are of the same coin. Brutality can be a sign of weakness, personality deficiency and a penchant for impulsive dependence on the threat of painful consequence “if you don’t do what I say.”
So, when we see who has won this hand (and we will, eventually, know the tally, know whether the ante was worth the play) we’ll be able to evaluate the costs to our moral and actual treasury.
Meantime, Donald J Trump has interpreted his newfound relationship with a bloodstained dictator as a kinship of purpose and understanding. I question this kinship. I would change the spelling just a bit. He is now mired in a web of Kimship.

Did you hold your nose when you pulled the lever?

Standard
 It’s true that I have used strongly critical language to describe the current President and his administration. I have plenty of reliably accurate information to support the reasons behind my postings. I’ve not soft-pedaled Obama, at least in my mind. I’ve not given Hillary a free pass on the roller coaster of her tenure. But my visceral dislike for Trump is based on some pretty good fundamentals.
The decisions by many who voted for him, to elect a “businessman who knows business” has led us to this moment where a sitting President can shape national policy in order to bolster his own business interests. What’s good for Trump’s wallet is not what should drive foreign and domestic policy as best for America’s health.
I understand that most Republicans and even some Independents AND Democrats, have held their noses when they voted for – and still support – many of the policies Trump has championed. But the man in the Office has left so many with a very bad feeling, a feeling that this country is now more divided than ever, that the promises to “make America Great Again” has harkened back to the great divisions of the late ’60s, thereby “Making America Grate Again,” sadly. 
I don’t want to hide behind the Democratic Party as the good guys and the Republican Party as the bad guys. The facts are pretty conclusive; both parties have erred over the years. We are where we are because of ingrained inequities that may never be fully erased.  The fact is; in White America, it is “better” to be White than otherwise. Why? Because as we struggle to accept that the Whiteness of our history has, until very recently, sought to erase the Blackness of our history we still seek to turn away from our continued racial an economic inequities. Whites still hold the power, although to a lesser degree than ever before. I’m White for gosh sakes! I know the benefits of my color in this society. But now, with this misogynistic President in office, a man who uses a “fixer” to pay off his extra-marital partners with hush-money, one has to question whether his tenure will continue to be Whitewashed by his supporters, or the stain of his Presidency will be erased in the next election cycle.
Some of you like Trump. I get that. You applaud his tough talk about NAFTA and the TPP. You like it when he threatens North Korea’s “Rocket Man” with the hellfire of a nuclear preemptive strike. You like it when Trump tells the EU that we don’t really need them if they don’t pay up. You really want a tough guy to take back America’s example as the country you just don’t mess with. I get that. But look at his talk, and look at his achievements. Look at his rhetoric and look at the results. 

He’s a blusterer and he says things you’d like to say (I’d like to say some of them too). But like all big mouths, he’s up against the statements he’s made. They’re on the record. And in contrast to Obama, a man Trump derides at every opportunity, he says he’ll never back away from his “Red Line” in the sands of the Syrian/Iranian/Iraqi/Saudi/North Korean/Yemeni/Israeli/Lebanese/Turkish crises. We’ll see what he backs away from and what he’s forced to carry out (or look like the Vacillator in Chief that he really is). You don’t like the Democrats. I get that. But do you REALLY like Trump, or are you, maybe, just maybe, holding your nose when you support the man?  

Manage

Of devotees and Money, Parting Ways?

Standard

To those of my Trumpian friends

Who hope his era never ends,

Who believe tough talk is a sign of strength

Who’ve supported him, no matter the length of his nose, as he spews his lies…

It grows longer and longer, each passing day,

And now Tariff Wars have got in the way,

Of rising stock values, spawning financial chaos…

Oh, woe is the era that Trump has provided us.

Will he recant, recall his threats?

Is that his style, have we seen it yet?

No.  He blunders along on his hyperactive way…

Throwing friends and allies into the fray…

It’s sad to see him now thrashing about,

This lumbering tycoon, this blustering lout…

He’s shown signs of compassion for children who’ve died

At the hands of firearms sold far and wide

To people who use them in moments of insanity.

But Trump returns to his default Trump vanity…

No, he can’t back away from his frothing base

And the world watches as he continues the disgraceful

Acts of rootless decisions,

Discarded, denied, then restated as visions…

Of measured thought by a man whose measure

Is only weighed against his material treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of God and Guns, of Congress and Cowardice

Standard

We pray for the United States.  We say, “God Bless America.”  Yet we cower before the Devil Incarnate, the Power of the NRA to make or break careers amongst our elected representatives.

Anyone with a heart, with a sense of moral outrage, is appalled by the constant murder of innocent school children, college students, churchgoers, nightclub attendees, concertgoers.

We look to our elected representatives to DO something to close loopholes in gun control legislation (oh my, a dirty couple of words, “gun control”).  But the House, in particular, quavers in fear that Wayne LaPierre and his NRA publicity machine will stop the money train that these cowardly representatives ride each election cycle.

And they are, yes, they are, accessories to murder.  They are facilitators in the horror and mayhem that our nation must endure as the NRA “defends” the Second Amendment rights of citizens to bear arms.

Murderers!  Liars.  Cowards!

And they call themselves Christians?  Well, Christians-in-Congress who beg at the altar of La Pierre’s NRA, what would Jesus do?

You disgust me, you lily-livered cowards!!!

So keep praying and doing nothing.  Just count the dead, maimed and scarred amongst those American families who looked to you all, and still look to you, to STOP THE CARNAGE!