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Trump Negotiation Behavior

I was tempted to call Trump’s behavior a “technique”, but it is not sophisticated enough to be considered such. He behaves in a way, and that should be clear to everyone one who can look at him without the rose colored glasses that he will (figuratively) provide to you if you care to put them on.

He negotiates with at least two very obvious behaviors: Flopping and Diversion.

For instance, he currently diverts the Russian inquiry by suggesting that Obama did nothing about Russian interference. Not to get too far in the weeds, but the interference was being investigated by the Federal Government while Obama was president. Nothing was overtly done for a number of reasons that I can see. 1. the investigation was no where near complete; and, 2. Once the investigation would be complete, the resolution should be done more quietly than is now occurring. The length and breadth of the current investigation show the first, and certainly the sense of the second bullet point seems to be just as obvious.

Now lets get to the Flopping on the “Tariff” issue.

NeighborDave has negotiated professionally for over 40 years, and really has negotiated his entire life. The Flop is the reactionary behavior first observed as a child, and is the go to move of a bully in the neighborhood. The guy that is big and strong, maybe older and less smart, the guy with no real future beyond exercising size or muscle to get what they want. It is like flopping your dick on the table and saying look how big that is. (Apparently, President Lyndon Johnson articulated this behavior once when he revoked a promise to Abe Fortus of a Supreme Court appointment.)

Here’s the thing. The move only works if you have the leverage necessary for the other side to be afraid of the leverage you have. With a bully, in the neighborhood, unless you are really slow or really stupid, you only get caught by the move once. After that you see it coming and avoid it, or just as it is about to happen, you speed away. Look at David and Goliath for an example. David could hit a flying bird with that sling shot, but Goliath had to be within swinging distance to use his weapons. David knew he could disable him without getting in the danger zone.

Trump revels in the concept that he is Goliath, but he doesn’t get that when you are the big dog, maybe even the alpha dog, you take care of your needs, but if you get your wants at the expense of the pack’s needs, then the pack is hurt. The US is (for now) the big dog, but if we focus on our wants to the exclusion of the worlds needs, WHERE DO WE END UP?

Sorry for the graphic example of the Flop, but that is how it is known in the world of negotiation. I have seen it many places around the world and eventually the people on the side from which it is exercised learn to discount “their” guy and he gets shunned by both sides as the negotiation continues. Trump’s disciples smile and enjoy the flop, so they will never shun him. It is up to the rest of the pack to see it though, and move on.

Simple behavior is just that, and honest behavior is just that too. Make a choice and stand behind it.


The Nunes Memo “Bits and Bytes”

I purposely float between four different “news” programs playing from time to time during the day, usually on in the background while I do things. Right now I am ranting internally as I listen to discussion regarding the Nunes Memo. Yes, that must be the name from now on, clearly.

Anyway, so many things. First, the news programs, when I was growing up, seemed to be less focused on the add revenues that paid their wages. (I would bet the purveyors of the news were paid much less, relative to revenues received, than the current mechanism.) Anyway, they all acknowledge a bent in their pick of what they focus on and with whom, and how, they discuss various “breaking news” as they all opine.

The people that discuss the impact of the Nunes Memo discuss it with reference to the intelligence collection system and the Constitution with a predigested understanding of the “inside” of the subject. However, and that is a BIG however, the general public has no such awareness or are they ever going to acquire anything close to that level of awareness – on either side. Sure, on both sides there are some folks who will dig in and look at stuff that is available. In todays world, you can find lots of reference points. However, the reference points need not all be reliable now. Clearly, the one lesson everyone with even a bit of intelligence as applied to connecting dots, is that anyone, including Russians, can publish a “piece” on the internet that appears to be an authority upon which one might be entitled to rely.

For the most part, as recent as 100 years ago, if you were being told an outright lie, or even a small lie, the lie was coming to you face to face. Now, you might be in a crowd, being sold some magic elixir or a political line, but you were at least face to face. The only other alternative was a newspaper, and the relatively new radio. TV was coming, adding a face that was trained, to the radio voice that was trained. Now there is the internet upon which artful manipulators can photo shop, and voice shop, whatever they want. Sure, if someone with skill digs into the “bits and bytes” (my phrase for it only), they can tell if it is made up, but the time lag between publishing and such a discovery cannot be erased, just as a statement in front of a jury hangs around with them despite the granting of an Objection immediately after its utterance.

What happens today with the voting public cannot be greatly impacted by a dissection of a situation without the aid of competent cross examination, as both sides can always find a mere conclusion falling within their paradigm and accepted as a coping mechanism to cognitive dissidence. Cross examination is what makes or breaks most court cases. Why, because it is an interchange the shows the truth, if not in the words, in the body language. The Jury gets to read the witness, and the attorney(s) and the Judge, and truth usually emerges to many of the Jurors. The hope is that they the truth can be pointed out to those that missed it, when they all get in the room such that their cognitive dissidence can be resolved definitively (See, 12 Angry Men, which did not focus on this, but I bet shows it.)

Anyway, all the news channels seem to cross examine someone with a position, but they never really get them to go to the end of the path. A partial cross exam is nothing, as the witness merely cuts through the woods back to their path after the discussion ends, usually with a talking points run that is followed by a thank you for the time. The follow up to the talking points statement is never, “Don’t give me that shit, let’s go back to this…..”

Here is the issue: What can be put in front of the common man that can give them the truth, but from an angle that is not limited to that being “vertically” discussed, face to face, by those who are controlling the situation (for their own personal goals, such as re-election)?

NeighborDave could find the answer, but only face to face for the reads necessary.

All Hope Rests on John Kelly

Let’s face it, regardless of ideology, a very reckless situation is on the table with the Russian matter. The current release of a memo, drafted by people who read FBI reports, then wrote a memo promoting their view of HOW the reports COULD be read to support a position that they liked, is well outside the realm of any verification of the truth of the matter at issue. If subject to cross examination the truth could come out, but by the time this ends up in any court, it will be too late as the means by which the FBI investigated the charges that were originally raised, will likely be released, as that is the fear that everyone with any sense has. The Russians are laughing at this, and the rest of the world is just shaking their heads. (It may be that ISIS is smiling about it.)

John Kelly is the sole person of influence who can whisper in the ear of Trump, or even take him in a room and scream at him, that he cannot participate in this because it is dangerous to our country.

This move is designed to save the Trump administration from being embarrassed by what took place with regard to the Russian situation. Kelly was not part of that, I think, and with his history of service we have to hope that his understanding of the risk associated with the release of the memo will drive him to stand firm. Hopefully, Trump will listen to him (and not to people like Stephen Miller).

This is a big as it gets.

By the way, look at Nunes’ CV. He is a purely political person, except for his start as a “farmer”.

Do You Give a Shit?

I don’t give a shit – about much

As I have aged I have discovered that I gave a shit about a lot of stuff. I also discovered that caring too much about things that were not critical was a waste of my time, as the caring would not have any lasting effect on the situation. For instance, reprimanding a ne’er do well about parking in a handicap parking spot was appropriate, but rarely did it change the perpetrator’s behavior. Sure, I could embarrass him, but such a perp is merely a Chihuahua – the barking never stops unless you are willing to really enforce it physically, and if you are a big dog, where does that get you?

Here’s the flip side. For the important things, I am perfectly willing to trade my life in order to spare a less able person from bad behavior of an individual who wants to pick on them. It may happen someday, and many people who know me predict that I will be shot. I now figure that a life spent exposing a bad person is that of a hero and avoids the multiple deaths of a coward. I put to rest one guy, who drove his pick up truck up to me as I got out of my sedan and asked me if it was my day to be an asshole. I answered, “No, I am an asshole every day, today I am a Mother F**ker”. What I learned that day is my next line to him should have been, “Now, here is what you are going to do. You will drive far enough away to be sure you can get away clean, then you will lean out your window, give me the finger, and tell me to go f**k myself.”

Don’t know why, but just felt like sharing that.

Trump as Surrogate

People generally gravitate to not making decisions – in general (let’s say 80% give or take).

A big segment of the population bought the theme that “Washington” did not make decisions, they just talked all the time. They thought that Trump would make decisions, and they liked the thought that he would make such decisions with leverage*. They would all like to have leverage, but most do not. Trump would become their Surrogate for the making of decisions.

In their current state leading up to the election a year ago, as with all of the working class, they either eat shit or die, so if someone told them that he would make America Great Again, they heard “You white folks won’t have to eat all this shit that Obama and his folks have been feeding you.” Also, we will feed a lot of shit to others such that you don’t have to eat so much, since the same amount will continue to be produced. What the story really was, and would become if Bannon had his way, is we fill feed you our shit, and you will like it more.

All those that did not buy the Trump story to begin with are now confirmed in their understanding that he is the Emperor that Bannon wanted to create, but, alas, he has no clothes. Those that bought his song, are still in tune with the rhythm they heard, and believe me they all heard a rhythm that was individual to them, but not out of sync with that hummed by Trump, et al. Soon, they will recognize the taste of the shit they are still eating, realize that it is not much different than before, and they (some) will turn (I hope). Not sure of the time frame, but…

Also, the racists will never turn as they will eat shit gladly in order to be on the top they perceive, at least to the limited, but severely nasty, extent of that status. They still believe, and their belief is not unlike any other zealot – only limited and narrow logic need apply. How far down the road must we go before all the non-believers get off the bus, because it is surely headed to the brink. The sane people need more believes in the greater good, not the individual good.

*(His business was built on the leverage of: I owe you so much that you have to listen to me, or my lawyers will cost you even more money and aggravation. The end result is that people would run from his leverage just to be loose of him. However, they also learned not to do business with him again – unless they got a Letter of Credit or other banking mechanism to assure that when the last payment became due he did not have the leverage he used before.)

Popovich Named It: Disrespect for Racism, not Disrespect of the Flag

LeBron called it out and every person of color knew what he was talking about, but Pop called it out for “white” folks. (I hate that reference, but everyone knows what it is.) The Trump Card is using his usual play: Diversion

Pop declared that the real issue is that white folks get to start a 100-meter dash, in the socioeconomic play that occurs in the USA, with a 50 meter head start on people of color.

“It’s hard to sit down and decide that, yes, it’s like you’re at the 50-meter mark in a 100-meter dash. You’ve got that kind of a lead, yes, because you were born white. You have advantages that are systemically, culturally, psychologically there. And they’ve been built up and cemented for hundreds of years. But many people can’t look at it, because it’s too difficult. It can’t be something that is on their plate on a daily basis. People want to hold their position, people want the status quo, people don’t want to give that up. And until it’s given up, it’s not going to be fixed.” (Emphasis Added)

The 50 meter lead arose from slavery and even though we fought a war to end the slavery thing, then enacted a bunch of laws (in the sixties) and had litigation over it, the advantage still lingers, and the fight for dignity goes on. Worse yet, The Trump Card expressly plays down to those who believe the advantage should never be given up. They don’t realize/acknowledge that they are not entitled to the head start.

Louis Riddick was correct when he modified the optimism of Jalen Rose by stating that some people will not get “it” no matter what takes place (though Riddick and Rose had not articulated “it”). That people won’t get “it” is a dark thought, and Riddick didn’t state the reasons why, but the true reasons are either: 1. A group of people just can’t see beyond a limited understanding of how the US is intended to work under the Constitution; or 2. They know that the position should be given up, but just won’t let go even though they completely understand the conflict arising from preserving the purposeful handicapping that has occurred.

In today’s world, that is what Pop is talking about. Jalen is right: a good percentage of white folks will now be exposed to the concepts that people of color have learned to live with. Those white folks who can and will connect the dots might experience a paradigm shift such that what Pop articulated will be “realized” by a bunch of people who have never previously been aware of the conditions experienced by people of color.

In all fairness, it is hard to make any paradigm shift, but LeBron is Ali like in fighting for it. LeBron makes the point for people of color. Pop, though, provides the illustration for white folks, from the white folks’ perspective. What Pop ARTICULATED represents the essence of what Pete Carrol alluded to in his address about what was taking place. Carroll recognized that a change in paradigm was occurring on Sunday, but he may not even have articulated to himself the key points that Pop made.

Go here and listen to all of what Pop says, because it is the truth.

Pop just tells the truth, and everyone who has not opened up to the truth is denying dignity, the Dignity that Dylan talks about here:

Pop, I think, is from the northern part of Indiana, in which steel mill work dominated the scene locally. That may be why he inclines to calling out the truth. In a steel mill, no lying was permitted and that concept was conveyed throughout the community over dinner as both management and union folks talked about what happens in a mill. There is no lying there because people died in the mill too often, and lying on top of the innate danger is not permitted by anyone.

Jalen holds out that enough will get it, and Louis hopes so too, but with a bigger grain of salt. Here’s a thought for Jalen: I don’t know basketball in the Gary, IN area, but I did know a steel mill in East Chicago, IN in ‘76. In those days though, I did my ballin north of the city along Broadway in Old Town. I did, however, know ball in Southeast Detroit, playing there in the second half of the 70s and through 83 while also knowing the steel mill in Ecorse. The game there did not allow for lying either, so I can see Jalen getting all this and recognizing that a white guy could begin to understand the paradigm of a person of color. Ha, just found out that Mr. Riddick may have a flavor for the steel world, based upon his listed growing up town not far from Allentown, PA. Maybe if we get enough steel mill city ballers in the room, truth will carry the day. After all, Akron is close enough to Cleveland and Youngstown to have a hint of steel.

Truth and Dignity may have a chance to change the actuality of Racism.



Little Boy Trump

The Trump Card says that his rant about players not standing during the National Anthem has nothing to do with Race. Who believes that? Does he? His followers, especially in Alabama where he delivered the rant, know that it is all about Race.

Race was the origin of the kneeling by Kaepernick. He made that move to call attention to what he saw as disparate treatment of black people by police. Anyone that argues that there is no disparate treatment, or that not every policeman treats black people differently, misses the point. To the extent that there is ANY disparate treatment it is significant, especially if you are black. I lived through Cassius Clay becoming Muhammad Ali and all that he did with the draft situation, including the impact on his career. Most of the world accepted Ali as a hero by the time of his death, but the paradigm of the racists was dead against him during his time.

Now, if you are Euro American you may wonder what the big deal is. That is because your paradigm is created from a different set of paths. You have never been singled out because of your Race. It is funny, though, that the Race distinction has evolved. At one time, Irish and Italians, who were also were largely Roman Catholic, were discriminated against in the same way. (There are a number of instances in which such people were collectively attacked by the majority “other” Euro Americans who happened to be Protestant.) Ask any Jewish friend you have what it is like to be shunned or objectified merely because of your heritage. If you are Euro American you may be surprised to hear their story in response.

Did you know that at one time, after a most significant flood on the Mississippi, in the second half of the 19th century, New Orleans actually solicited Italians to replace the black work force? But they soon had second thoughts about the move, as the Italians would not toe the line as anticipated.

Trump’s rant was all about Race. He knows it and his followers in Alabama know it and they wink at it. (No NFL team in that state, and a long history of Racism ingrained there.) Ha, now he comes out and promotes NASCAR. How much more racial can he get? He wants to be sure that the 25% or so of voters who are his tried and true supporters who are (perhaps closet) Racist, will stay in the fold. Those folks will not miss the subtleties that make them smile, but they miss the more indirect subtlety that this is nothing more than pandering. If you are pandered to you eat it up unless you are naturally critical.

I used the title for this piece because The Trump Card behaves like a little boy. As a child, the only reason why one would play with him is if you either needed the numbers for the game, or he owned the only bat in the neighborhood.  Yep, he is that guy, the guy who couldn’t play for shit, but who had equipment you needed, or at least wanted. In my neighborhood, we would have pushed him in the creek and let him wonder home to cry to mom. Yep, I said it.