Saturday, July 23, 2016

Day of the Demogogue: Will America Become a Banana Republic?

Good Day World!

When Donald Trump gave his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention he made one thing clear - there will be order, and only HE can make it happen.

He mentioned the word "order" throughout his testosterone-fueled address to the audience. He mentioned the word freedom once during his 75 minute rant.

He said he would only tell the truth. By the end of his speech he had lied about numerous points.

The die has been cast. The Party of Trump intends to push a nationalist agenda that doesn't have room for minorities. Look no further than the NAZI party to understand what's happening here.

Racists have found room in the political arena this year and are appealing to a lot of fearful and angry people. All limits on rhetoric have been lifted, and it's scary.

In the toxic atmosphere created by Trump, it's okay to run for political offices even if you were an ex-Grand Wizard for the Klu Klux Klan.

Enter David Duke, now a convicted felon, having pleaded guilty in 2002 to bilking his supporters and cheating on his taxes. He's running for a senate office in Louisiana.

And why not? If Trump can get away with bilking people (think six bankrupties and Trump University), and cheating on his taxes and still get the Republican nomination for president, Duke should be electable too under the current seismic societal shift.

The polls tell us Trump supporters are mostly angry old under-educated white men. His followers are motivated by fear. Trump thrives on that emotion.

Like Adolf Hitler, Trump uses fear like a hammer, then massages it into the national consciousness like a diabolical masseuse.

Don't worry. Don't think. Just vote for the Donald. The message really resonates when he talks about the "good old days,"  which were also the bad old days for every minority in the nation.

We have entered the era of a new demogogue. The Republican convention was consumed by a vigilante rage, complete with mock prosecutors, show trials, and chanting mobs.

The picture presented to the world has been of America, as a banana republic.

What has happened to our country? Our descent into political chaos has been rapid and perplexing.

Is there enough hate and fear to take the USA down the path to it's own destruction? Let's hope not. Only time will tell now.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Be Happy: Don't Talk About Politics and Religion

Good Day World!

"I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." –Mark Twain

The old saying about not talking about politics and religion in polite company really resonates today.

Both are stressful subjects and not conducive to pleasent small talk. There's just too much bad news in the world and people need to unwind.

No, this is not a "Miss Manners" moment, just something I found to be true.

Writing about the two subjects is another thing. If someone reads a controversial opinion piece I wrote dealing with either subject it's their choice.

That eliminates the confrontation part and allows for the processing of the piece. An opinion can be formed unchallenged.

But when you are in a group of people - especially if there's drinking going on - steer away from politics and religion. Talk about anything else.

In case you haven't noticed the country is more divided than ever when it comes to politics. Whether you fall on the left or the right it doesn't matter. Politics are poison.

As for religion, it's always been controversial. Each religion believes it's the one true way to God. Unless your a minister, you're not going to convert people to your beliefs, so skip the sermons.

Just Be Happy for what you have, and who you are.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Trump's Going Change (wink! wink!) Now That He's Officially The GOP's Banner Boy

Good Day World!

How many 70-year olds do you know that have suddenly undergone complete life transformations; going from bombastic to civil in the course of one year?

I'm waiting.

Apparently, so is the Republican party. I listened to Bob Dole being interviewed yesterday and one thing struck me: he acknowledged that Trump has some major problems but is backing him anyway.

Dole didn't want Trump originally. His first pick was Jeb Bush. Then he shifted over to Marco Rubio. Finally, left with no other choice, Dole got in line with the rest who grudgingly support Trump.

Dole said it was a binary choice. A lot of other Republicans have said exactly the same thing. Trump won the primary, so they have to back him no matter what.

"Cannon to the right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volley'd & thunder'd; 
Storm'd shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of death, Into the mouth of hell rode the six hundred."

From The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

It doesn't mean these reluctent supporters enjoy riding the Trump train. To the contrary, nearly every one of them is hoping that Trump transforms into presidential material before November.

What amazes me is that some people actually think the bombastic carnival barker who has been insulting people and groups all of his life is going to change now that he's officially the poster boy for the Republican party.

This is Trump's ultimate con.

The idea that he's going to change is either wishful, or delusional. Take your pick. Donald Trump is the most reviled GOP candidate that ever pushed his way through the primary process.

Meanwhile, many Republicans are hunkering down and trying not to be seen with Trump anywhere. These conflicted supporters are trying to protect the Republican brand, but the brand has changed into The Party of Trump.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GOP Platform 'Most Anti-LBGT Agenda Ever Adopted'

Good Day World!

It's not easy being a LGBT Republican.

The Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest organization representing LGBT conservatives, are really pissed off with the newly adopted Republican platform.

They went so far as to run a full page ad about the most "anti-LGBT platform the Republican party has ever had" according to Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory Angelo.

By adopting a stance that goes against current laws - like legal gay marriage - the Republican party is putting up new barriers to uniting Americans.

The GOP, as it stands right now, is duckwalking behind a bigot, racist, liar, con man, and woman hater who thinks the only good woman is a "10."

Donald Trump has fragmented the Republican party, sliced and diced any common sense there might have been there, and reduced it to a laughingstock for generations to come.

When historians look back at this election, and read the GOP's platform, they're going to shake their heads in disbelief at the message of intolerance and hate that further inflamed a nation.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Decline of Journalism: Reality Politics For Entertainment and Profit

Good Day World!

I use to be proud of being a journalist.

As an editor, and publisher of newspapers, I always strived for balanced reporting. And the truth.

But when I look at the state of journalism today, I feel like my best friend died. What I see is "reality journalism." A hybrid between reality television (all media), and politics.

In this presidential election, the relationship in which the party leads and the media follows seem to have been reversed. Enter Donald Trump.

Or so says Harvard political scientist Thomas Patterson, who conducted a recent study of the precaucus, preprimary political coverage in eight major newspapers, cable stations and TV networks.

In their coverage of Trump, Patterson found, the media not only loosened the bonds of party control; they cut them altogether. As Patterson put it, "Trump is arguably the first bona fide media-created presidential nominee."

Excerpt from "How the Media Overthrew Party Politics"

What happened was the media took a minor candidate, whose only claim to massive coverage was name recognition from reality TV and his wild life, and made him a presidential contender.

Just how lopsided was the free coverage for Trump? He got 34 percent of all the GOP preprimary coverage, nearly twice as much as the next guy, Jeb Bush.

"It is no coincidence, I think, that Trump arose from reality TV and its forebears, print and television gossip, and that he has strode onto the political scene as a gremlin, basically wrecking traditional politics the way reality shows for a time attempted to wreck traditional shows. Television, especially, likes him. Networks like that he is a loose cannon, which is the very best sort of weaponry for an entertainment based on outrageousness. Whereas every other candidate is more or less predictable, Trump is wholly unpredictable." - Truthout

The mainstream media's promotion of Trump for higher ratings may turn out to be a watershed moment for politics. Reality TV meets politics and the results signal the end of civilization as we know it.

The Republican National Convention is full of controversy and is more of a tribute to Trump, his family, and friends than about selecting a candidate for the presidency. 

I'm disgusted, and disillusioned. Journalists have created a monster, and we're all going to pay if Trump is elected.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Deadly Trend: Police Being Targeted By Angry Blacks

Good Day World!

I'm grieving over three more police officers who were ambushed and killed in the line of duty in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, yesterday.

I'm still grieving over the five officers ambushed and murdered in Dallas recently.

I'm really concerned that we're looking at a deadly trend. When President Obama spoke about the latest cop killings he hinted that a dangerous trend needs to be reversed.

Four individuals were arrested last week for planning an ambush against law enforcement.

The perpertrators were all black. One was as 13-years old. They robbed a pawn shop, taking pistols. They planned to kill as many white cops as possible before being caught.

The Dallas shooter was black and admitted he wanted to kill white cops

The shooter who was killed in Baton Rouge Sunday was an ex-Marine who fought in Afghanistan. He was black, and a member of the Nation of Islam.

I grew up in times of racial unrest - Watts, California, etc. Yet I've never seen a trend like this against law enforcement. Targeting cops is a sure sign of decay in any society.

So, how do we bring blacks and law enforcement to a reconciliation?

You have young black men in this country who are profiled by law enforcement and much more likely to be shot by cops than whites.

You have cops who rightly feel they are under assault from a public they've sworn to defend. As "police racism" grows we've seen ambushes of cops in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Georgia, along with Texas and Louisiana.

That is a deadly trend with no end in sight. 

The very fabric of our society is being torn apart in this increasingly deadly conflict between blacks and law enforcement.

Here's what we have to keep in mind; both the blacks and law enforcement have legitimate points. Both have gripes that need to be addressed by cooler heads.

Here's a couple of good articles on the subject:

It's Time To Mend The Ties Between Police And The Black Community

The Simple Strategies That Could Fundamentally Change How Communties View The Police

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Organized Religion Is Losing Its Hold On Americans

Good Day World!

The heyday of organized religion is passing in America.
I've been observing this societal change for over six decades.

According to a recent Gallup Poll Americans trust in organized religion continues to decline following a decades-long trend.

What's happening?

For starters:

Millennials are giving up on organized religion

Another thought:

Religion rises and falls in popularity depending on how well it satisfies our needs versus the secular alternatives.

Another thought:

Globalism may be driving a rise in interest in interfaith activities. As we relate more to people globally, we may realize as never before that ours is not the only true religion.

Another thought:

From the article 4 Reasons For Decline of Religion:

"The internet has given us unprecedented access to information about our institutions, many times exposing their darker sides.
As we learn more about our society and its institutions, we sometimes become painfully aware of hypocrisy and scandal. That may be one important reason that confidence in many of our institutions, from business to schools to government, is below historical norms."
Last thought:
The rise in Atheism is coinciding with the decline of organized religion.
Of course, there are more reasons for the decline. I've shared a portion here for the sake of conversation.
My question to you; "Is the decline in organized religion a bad thing, or a good thing?"
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...