The Significance of Traditional Oral Communication | And this Can Partially Explain not Why it Happened, but How

I cannot attest to whether this rhetorical delivery was deliberately employed or not. But I agree as to how effective it can be. This delivery is intercultural, intergenerational (if you exclude certain gestures). It feels and sounds spontaneous, honest and personal. In part, it employs the good old salesman’s gigs. And it strikes that cord in us which yearns for connection and being understood and embraced without much effort. Or apology.

[His seeming incoherence stems from the big difference between written and spoken language. Trump’s style of speaking has its roots in oral culture.

Only a few of Trump’s big speeches have been scripted. At many of his rallies, he speaks off the cuff. We get a lot of fractured, unfinished sentences, moving quickly from thought to thought — what Trump calls a “beautiful flowing sentence.”

To some (or many), this style is completely incoherent. But clearly not everyone feels this way. Many people walked away from Trump’s rallies having understood — and believed — what he said.

It’s the difference between reading Trump’s remarks and listening to them in real time, University of Pennsylvania linguist Mark Liberman explained:

This apparent incoherence has two main causes: false starts and parentheticals. Both are effectively signaled in speaking — by prosody along with gesture, posture, and gaze — and therefore largely factored out by listeners. But in textual form the cues are gone, and we lose the thread.

In other words, Trump’s digressions and rambles — or, as he says, when “the back of the sentence reverts to the front” — are much easier to follow in person thanks to subtle cues….

Many of Trump’s most famous catchphrases are actually versions of time-tested speech mechanisms that salesmen use. They’re powerful because they help shape our unconscious.

Take, for example, Trump’s frequent use of “Many people are saying…” or “Believe me” — often right after saying something that is baseless or untrue. This tends to sound more trustworthy to listeners than just outright stating the baseless claim, since Trump implies that he has direct experience with what he’s talking about. At a base level, Lakoff argues, people are more inclined to believe something that seems to have been shared.]

Read the full article | VOX





Navajo Republican Leader Carlyle Begay Has a New Job at The White House | Politics, the Future of Energy Policy, the Envirnment, and What was Missed in the Process

Dine’ (Navajo) Nation officially supported Hillary Clinton during the elections. But was the sentiment of the majority of the Dine’ people equally clear? Let ‘s trace the dots.




Donald Trump with Arizona tribal leaders and State Sen. Carlyle Begay (R), second from left, on June 18, 2016 | Photo by Francisco Valencia via The Navajo Post

Leaders of three Arizona tribes met with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on June 18, 2016, Indian Country Today and The Navajo Post reported. Representatives of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Cocopah Tribe, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe spent about 30 minutes with the real estate mogul during a campaign stop in Phoenix on Saturday, ICT said. Carlyle Begay, a Republican state lawmaker who is a member of the Navajo Nation and is running for Congress, also took part.“It’s important to build bridges,” Begay told ICT of the encounter. “I don’t think we should turn down the opportunity to meet with any candidates and get them to understand the importance of federal trust responsibilities, about the history of tribes, which is replete with mistakes, tragic actions and lost opportunities. We can’t change that history, but we’re not condemned to repeat it.” (Read the full article here)


Donald Trump Jr. speaking in Shiprock AZ at a Trump rally in Navajo Nation (November 4, 2016) | from the Instagram page of Donald Trump Jr.

Trump Jr. spoke for about 20 minutes. Although he was grateful for the support shown for his father on the reservation, he did not talk about any tribal issues.He used the word “sovereignty” at least once but did not elaborate on what it means to the candidate. He also didn’t discuss what Trump would do for Indian Country if he wins the election on November 8.Despite the warm welcome for candidate’s son, other tribal citizens were out in force to express their distaste for the man on top the Republican ticket. (Indianz.Com)

The event marked the Trump campaign’s second foray in Indian Country. Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence hosted a town hall at a venue at Sandia Pueblo in New Mexico in August although tribal issues did not play a role at all in the event.

After the elections, the top two leaders of the Navajo Nation encouraged unity, as they congratulated President elect, Donald Trump on his victory. Here is the official announcement:


A significant issue the Navajo Nation faces is their energy sources. Overwhelmingly dependent on fossil fuel for the nation’s energy needs (which is provided for free to a large number of the reservation’s rural residents), the Navajo Nation also contributes to the largest methane concentration in the USA, at the Four Corners region.

  • Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, rated at 3,937 net megawatts, is the largest nuclear power plant and the second largest power plant of any kind in the nation.
  • Arizona’s only operating coal mine, Kayenta, on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, supplies the 7-to-8 million short tons burned annually by the Navajo Generating Station’s three 750-megawatt units.
  • Arizona’s Renewable Environmental Standard requires 15% of the state’s electricity consumed in 2025 to come from renewable energy resources; in 2014, 8.9% of Arizona’s net electricity generation came from renewable resources, primarily from the Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams.(US Energy Information Organization)

Little White Womin… | Another Strange Fruit

Ain’t no sisters here: A long history of white feminism consistently excluding women of color and embracing white supremacism

White women voted for Trump in 2016 because they still believe white men are their saviors

[White women have a history of betraying their sisters. The 2016 election was no exception. The pattern of white women choosing white men over women of color underscores some of the more insidious machinations of patriarchy and the racism ingrained in the feminist movement. White women’s modus operandi for gaining power—economic, political, and otherwise—is simple: acquire power from those who have it. And those who have historically have had it are white men. This has resulted in white women’s historic abandonment of their black and brown sisters, as well as their more heinous adoption of white supremacist rhetoric to advance their own status.


These ethically unjustifiable strategies are evident in some of the feminist movement’s darkest days, beginning with the fight for suffrage. After the decision was made to exclude women from the 15th Amendment, which gave free black men the right to vote, leading suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton adopted blatantly racist rhetoric. Frustrated with the stonewalling of women’s suffrage, they actively courted and collaborated with white supremacists in exchange for financial assistance to advance their cause. By aligning themselves with white men, these early feminists turned their back on black women and even black suffragists. White male supremacists welcomed the coalition, as Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote in a piece at the Atlantic, because it would shore up white nationalism at the voting booths.
During the next wave of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, a similar strategy played out, this time on a structural level. The organizations fighting for women’s rights deliberately excluded their black and brown sisters so as to appear more acceptable to the white male legislators who held the power.
The ethical failures of white women resulted in black women creating their own feminism—womanism—as well as their own groups such as the Combahee River Collective, which argued that ending the systemic oppression of all women was a political imperative. “[W]e are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking,” they wrote in their mission statement.
White feminism, by contrast, is the calculated rejection of intersectional sisterhood in favor of the acceptance and appreciation of white men. In its most destructive form, it is racism masquerading as self-empowerment. This is apparent in Elle magazine interviews with a handful of female Trump supporters after the election, who claim that they are “absolutely not racist” and they really just care about the “economy” and “get[ting] a good job.”
White women account for 37% of the American voting population, which means the votes of black and brown women, no matter how impressively they turned out for Hillary Clinton (94% of black women; 68% of Hispanic and Latino women), were countered by the large swath of white women who supported Trump.

Instead of turning to men for political coalition and social acceptance, white women need to turn toward women of color. This is the message of the late Harvard lesbian-feminist Barbara Johnson, who wrote in her conclusion to The Feminist Difference that “conflicts among feminists require women to pay attention to each other, to take each other’s reality seriously, to face each other.” Only by doing this will we be able to eradicate women’s internalized misogyny. Johnson continued, “feminists have to take the risk of confronting and negotiating differences among women if we are ever to transform such differences into positive rather than negative forces in women’s lives.”

While racism is undoubtedly a significant factor in white feminists’ failure to engage in intersectional activism, history also suggests that white women have been largely risk-averse when it comes to building coalitions with their black and brown sisters. This is near-sighted and unambitious logic. As Audre Lorde famously wrote in 1984: “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” because “[t]hey may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”]

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

One thing Mr. Trump has been consistently doing the last few months is not challenge this country’s sensibilities, ideals or democratic convictions. Mr. Trump stands defiantly upright, proud and stubbornly in the middle of the room, seemingly uninvited, like a thorn under the foot -infected- being a crystal clear, non-distorting mirror.
And looking at ourselves in that mirror after a 300-year orgy with street hookers, expired pills and moonshine, hangover, blackout and all, seems like encountering an intruder. Pants down.

And without a gun.

[George Erasmus, an aboriginal leader from Canada said, “Where common memory is lacking, where people do not share in the same past, there can be no real community. Where community is to be formed, common memory must be created.”]

The Problem the Republican Party, and now the Nation, has with Donald Trump


Red America: Why Poorer Areas Vote for Politicians Who Want to Slash the Safety Net

Ever wonder why all those folks in rural, “red” America still vote in droves for the same Republicans who brag about gutting the very social programs keeping them alive?  How someone like Matt Bevin can run a winning campaign in Kentucky based on cutting people’s access to affordable health care? How Republican governors can get away with refusing free Medicaid for their own citizens?

In an insightful article about what motivates the rural poor to vote Republican, Alec MacGillis, who covers politics for ProPublica,  took a tour through deep red America, asking the same questions. In an Op-Ed for today’s New York Times, MacGillis explains that it’s not all about guns and abortion that drives people in economically-depressed areas to vote Republican. In fact it’s something very basic to human nature, which the GOP exploits at every turn. And Democrats ignore it at their peril.

Here is the article: Who Turned my Blue State Red? | NEW YORK TIMES

1 A politics




Race and American Politics: Parallel Narratives, Similar Rhetoric | Willie Horton Revisited

[Willie Horton. The name is enough to make a politician blanch. Ever since 1988, when the George H. W. Bush presidential campaign machine wielded the Horton horror story against his Democratic rival, the threat of being “Willie Horton’ed” has shaped the politics of crime and punishment. “The ghost of Willie Horton has loomed over any conversation about sentencing reform for over 30 years,” says Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., co-sponsor of one such proposal.

Now, with crime down and the excesses of the criminal justice system under bipartisan attack, some believe the ghost has been expelled. Upcoming election seasons will put that theory to the test.

How did a single sadistic home invasion — one of many senseless crimes in the violent 1980’s — reshape the politics of criminal justice for a generation? It began with a 30-second television ad.]

Read the full story | The Marshall Project

The Unbearable Lightness of a Curiously Lazy Haste | … some Greek thoughts on Greece

[The nation’s stocks and bonds slumped, even as Tsipras and his finance chief pledged to avoid a standoff with creditors. The benchmark ASE Index has fallen 15 percent in the past three days, and bond yields spiked to levels not seen since 2012. A person familiar with the matter said bank-deposit withdrawals accelerated to record levels in the run-up to the Jan. 25 election.

The losses took Greek stocks down 48 percent since a high in March, as anti-austerity party Syriza gained ground among voters. Piraeus Bank trades at less than 1 percent of its 2007 share price and Alpha Bank AE has tumbled 97 percent since its high that year. National Bank of Greece, valued at about 23 billion euros ($26 billion) in 2007, has now a market capitalization of 3 billion euros.] Cited from BLOOMBERG Business


[The alliance with Panos Kammenos (far rightwing) has dampened the enthusiasm of SYRIZA’s supporters outside Greece, those who saw its victory as a herald for the leftist revolution against austerity. Inside Greece it came as less of a surprise….

The second blow against SYRIZA’s international image came from the issue of possible EU sanctions against Russia…. The head of the German Parliament’s Committee of Foreign Affairs, Norbert Roettgen, warned Athens against using its veto right on the Russian issue as leverage in debt talks….

Statements by several ministers highlighted the key point of Tsipras’s celebration speech: that the elections marked the end of the memorandum and the troika. Ministers froze privatizations, rehired public sector workers that had been sacked, and reinstated the 13th salary bonus for those on minimum wage, among other moves….

The question is not just whether SYRIZA will be able to fulfill the former’s promises or failure to do so will drag the country into unpredictable territory. The question is, since Greece is in such dire need of reforms in justice, health, the war against tax evasion and corruption, immigration policy, education, culture and public administration, why is the government opening up so many simultaneous fronts?

A Strange Haste | KATHIMERINI


[Coalition new government of SYRIZA and ANEL announced their intent to implement the “Thessaloniki Program.”

The crumbs included in the particular program are presented like “a tremendous reversal of the politics of debt” having one and only goal: stage the sense that government change in political line also means a radical political change for the lower classes. This way they wish to gain, not only the people’s approval on their politics, but also their active mobilization to make their politics a reality.

By all means, there are differences between the previous administration handling of government and the one the new coalition administration promises. The strategic course, however, which will determine the lives of Greeks is identical. Remember the elections of 2009?

Let us examine a few examples. Yesterday the announcement of the new Assistant Secretary of Maritime Policy was widely publicized, about not moving forward to sell 67% of the Pireaus Port SA stocks. This declaration is part of SYRIZA’s program to “destroy the stringent rules of the Greek debt agreement.” But SYRIZA, as well as powerful investors involved with maritime affairs and tourism, or seek after segments of the Pireaus port, are strongly against privatization: development of Pireaus Port SA would exclude those actors from the larger game of interests.

Thus they follow a different route, this time further privatize the port, for example the business partnership of government-private sector, long-term services provisions and infrastructure of the port, with the government maintaining the majority and distribute the goods. The particular regime complies with the EE directions to release all port services. However, the consequences for the people and the port employees will simply remain the same.

Another example is the vague promise to reinstate minimum wage to 751 euro, an announcement widely shown in the media. However, the announcement by the new Secretary of Labor did not enjoy equal air time. The Secretary stated: ” you will have to understand the application of such a measure only in combination with a number of other measures which maintain a good business operation, and will ease the market.” In other words, the measure to adjust the debts to IRS and Social Security Registries….

The bottom line for SYRIZA is to maintain the people’s compliance into living with very little. The new Secretary of Finance was clear: “we support a life of frugality (…)” he said [while he is married to a factory owner’s daughter, and his real estate counts to hundreds of millions]. “Greeks were creative only when they lived in simplicity” he also said.]

Read the full article here | RIZOSPASTIS – Newspaper of the Communist Party of Greece


On a different note…

[The negotiation game has just begun. Nobody believes that it will be easy and carefree. There will be tension, strength, documentation, arguments and certainly support will be necessary. It would be a mistake however for some to predict how this negotiation will turn out.

Europe cannot strangle an economy simply because a new government does not agree ideologically and politically with Merkel and Schäuble’s beliefs. Nor can it force a failed recipe that nobody can defend any more.

The Tsipras government has an irresistible argument: the previous policy exhausted all possibilities and options, it crushed parties and leaders, it cannot go on any longer, it requires a change in means and tools, goals and pursuits, because if it continues it will only serve fascism and anti-Europeans and nobody else. If this is coupled with a cohesive plan, which will cover fiscal and growth targets, then there are many chances of winning the negotiation and disproving the domestic and international prophets of doom, who invest in conflict and catastrophe.]

Read the full article | TO VIMA