Saturday, April 6, 2024

Existing in Pre-Apocalyptic America

How are you doing?

What drives you to keep going on in this polarized society?

What gets you out of bed each morning?

Some people say defending our republic motivates them to get up in the morning to fight for our freedoms.

Some people roll out of bed, pull on a red MAGA cap each morning and gladly donate their last dollar to pay a former twice-impeached president and billionaire's legal bills.

Families are finding themselves stranded in red and blue ideological battles that all seem inevitably pointed towards another civil war. 

Americans live with the understanding that we have more mass shootings than any other industrialized country in the world. Most say despite that they wouldn't live in any other country.

If one thing is true about Americans, we are resilient and somehow overcome what sometimes seems to be insurmountable challenges. We've managed to overcome wars and pandemics, always moving bravely forward.

To many, me included, this year is full of challenges like we've never seen before. A rogue former president who failed in a coup attempt to regain office is now the Republican candidate for president in November.

Like it or not we're teetering on a pre-apocalyptic moment in American history where the future of the nation is at stake. 

Trump has openly declared his fascist agenda and millions of his followers are already practicing their "goose stepping" for political rallies and a future dictatorship.

Political pundits say President Biden and Trump are neck-and-neck in the polls... but I don't believe that. It's just too early in the race to make that claim. Media organizations are feasting on election data and opinions for the nightly news.

What if Trump is convicted for felonies prior to the election? 

What happens if he doesn't satisfy the court in New York and post bond in 10 days? 

What about the other court cases in three different jurisdictions?

No one knows what's going to happen between now and when we make a trip to cast our ballots. Instead, we just need to push forward with our lives and follow our hearts.

As it Stands, for a brighter future Vote Blue in November.

Total Solar Eclipse is a Marketer's Dream

Capitalism is alive and thriving in America.

With some 31.6 million Americans expected to be in the path of Monday's total solar eclipse, businesses are booming.

Eclipse enthusiasts are more than willing to pay big bucks to get a prized vantage point for the rare event.

The next total solar eclipse will be in 2026, but it will mostly pass over the Arctic Ocean, with some visibility in Greenland, Iceland, Portugal and northern Spain. In other words, Americans are NOT going to have a front row seat to the celestial event.

Eclipse promoters are fully aware of this and that's one of many reasons they're hawking this total solar eclipse so vigorously.

The last time a total solar eclipse struck merchandizing gold for promoters was in 2017 when savvy marketers profited from an estimated 88% of U.S. adults craning their necks skyward.

Today the digital marketplace is abuzz with memorabilia that captures the local essence of the phenomenon.

* In Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio they are mixing a traditional event with an event that combines drones and fireworks, complete with eclipse safety glasses and themed souvenirs.

* Cleveland Metroparks has rolled out a special eclipse capsule collection, featuring glow-in-the dark t-shirts and hoodies that capture the event's magic.

*Sonic introduced a limited-edition Blackout Slush Float, turning a simple drink into a collector's item with free eclipse glasses.

* The editors of Astronomy and Discover magazines are offering a solar eclipse store online at My Science Shop. You can get glasses, books and maps, and fun accessories like shirts, pins, stickers, and more.

I'm waiting for America's top grifter, Donald Trump, to roll out some ridiculous memorabilia like Trump branded gold-rimmed eclipse glasses made in third world countries that use child labor. 

They'll be fake of course and will end up blinding his rabid followers.

As it Stands, hucksters have a special place in America society as demonstrated by a convicted rapist and fraud running for the presidency.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Book Review: 'The Butterfly Tree' Offers Hope in a Challenging World

If you love reading a good book pull up a comfortable chair and open up The Butterfly Tree and enjoy.

It's an Extraordinary Saga of Seven Generations by author Woody Woodburn.

The story weaves the history of a family and a giant Black Walnut tree into a tapestry depicting both of their intwined legacies full of learned knowledge of nature and humanity.

The scion of the family line "Doc" Lemuel Jamison sets the standard for healing the sick and accepting everyone regardless of their race, gender, national origin, or crimes they committed in the heat of passion.

The reader is gently guided from one generation to another in a series of challenging vignettes filled with action from the American Civil War to that un-named war in Vietnam where soldiers were sent to die for political reasons.

The characters are so real that you feel like you've known them all of your life. The shy kid who needs encouragement. The kid(s) who were kind to the shy or shunned kids passing on the lessons the Jamison family learned from one generation to another.

The Butterfly Tree is a message of hope regardless of the challenges in life. The main mission pursued by the remarkable Jamison family is to love one another, be understanding, and respect others. It sends a powerful message we could all use today in these chaotic times.

It's a story of hope blended with prose so fluid that you'll flow from one page to another effortlessly, swimming in the vivid imagery Woody has created with his insights into the human soul.

I highly recommend the Butterfly Tree and ask that you tell your friends about it and also share this tour de force on social media. It's available at Amazon and while your there write a 5-star review. You'll feel good and so will others when they read The Butterfly Tree.

About the author

Woody Woodburn was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1960. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara; and for the past four decades has been a national award-winning newspaper columnist - sports originally and general interest for the past 15 years for The Ventura County Star.

The World According to Donald J. Trump

Buckle up.

I'm going to take you on a ride to an alternate universe that somehow exists alongside reality.

Hop on the crazy Trump train to explore his damaged brain.

In Trump's world the 2020 election was stolen from him. All of the courts turned away his false claims but that never slowed him down as he flipped the facts and ran with them like a rat rampaging in a cheese factory.

In Trump's world dictators and strongmen are idols to imitate. His dreams about becoming a dictator with absolute control over the American people have spilled out like nightmares in real time.

In Trump's world the Jan. 6 insurrectionists facing legal consequences for their criminal efforts to help him overthrow the government are called HOSTAGES.  He does it for one obvious reason, to convince followers to risk their own skins and careers in the future on his behalf.

In Trump's world the Constitution is a document that needs to be re-written so that he can become America's first king with no restraints on his power.

In Trump's world encouraging his supporters to defy laws is only part of his attack on our Constitutional Democracy. Encouraging violence in his name has inspired people like Tyler Vogel of Lancaster, New York.

Vogel was arrested for texting threats to New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York Justice Arthur Engoron, who prosecuted and presided over Trump's civil case for committing decades of fraud.

Vogel wrote, "Mark my words I will kill you if you even dare to permanently steal Donald Trump's assets or his property."

Vogel is just another sad example of someone throwing everything away for a man who would not even give him a penny if he was starving.

Somehow that reality never seems to breach thick MAGA skulls, where the faith that Trump cares about them - despite daily evidence he does not - seems immovable.

That's what happens when people are foolish enough to hop aboard Dementia Donnie's train to Never Never Land.

Thus far, without suffering consequences for his crimes has made Trump a hero among the far-right extremists in the country.

He's turned court cases into rallies asking for donations to pay his legal bills. He campaigned for the presidency on being indicted in four jurisdictions for felonies. Even a mug shot taken on his arrest in Fulton County, Georgia has turned into a cunning grift for more money.

As it Stands, Trump is living in an alternate reality and unfortunately, it's intruding into the real world and causing chaos throughout the country... and the rest of the world.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

What Can America Do About its Rogue Ally Israel?

What does a family do when one of its members suddenly turns on them? 

Whatever decision the family makes is going to be heart-wrenching experience.

One of the United States most trusted allies has gone rogue, and the world is watching angrily, and demanding Israel quit killing innocent people and aid workers.

The recent Israeli strike on a marked World Central Kitchen truck killing seven aid workers has become a worldwide catalyst for calling for a criminal investigation and holding the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) accountable.

Israel has faced calls from the U.S., the UK., Canada and Australia for a thorough and transparent investigation into the strike.

The man responsible for ramping up war efforts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been defying President Biden's efforts at a peaceful resolution for months now.

With this latest atrocity unfolding President Biden faces one of the toughest decisions in his entire political career - how do you punish Netanyahu without losing Israel as an ally?

Right now, there's mass protests in Jerusalem against Netanyahu and the war. Citizens are demanding Netanyahu resign from his office.

President Biden is facing the challenge of neutralizing Netanyahu without condemnation at home and in Israel. It's a perfect example of Catch 22. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

Nevertheless, something has to change before the whole middle east is at war. It's heading that way swiftly.

The Biden administration could start by canceling current arms sales and in particular the sale of 15 fighter jets that will just result in more civilian casualties.

Netanyahu needs to understand America means business when it comes to achieving a peaceful resolution to the current crisis. Canceling these sales would get the warmonger's attention and force him to back off and start acting like an ally, not an enemy.

Doing this would help restore President Biden's credibility among the angry Muslim-American voters, and it would send a clear message to Israel that America wants the slaughter to stop, and peace negotiations taken up in earnest. 

As it Stands, like a family member who's gone astray Israel should be treated with tough love and welcomed back into the fold when they stop acting crazy. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Safest States to be in if there's a Nuclear Attack on U.S. Soil if Putin Carries Out His Threats

      The first warning sign came in 2022 when Russian leader Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons outside of the Ukraine.

He claimed the West was using "nuclear blackmail" and warned the U.S. and Europe that Russia has "various means of destruction to defend Russia and our people, we doubtlessly will use all weapons resources at our disposal," he said. "This is not a bluff," he warned.

The next warning sign came in December 2023, when Putin suggested Russia might change its policy of no first use of nuclear arms in military conflicts.

Depending on how paranoid Russia's dictator gets, we could be in store for a cataclysmic nuclear war.

A map depicting nuclear targets in the U.S. first showed up in 2015 in a CBS article that used info from FEMA, Medicine and Global Survival, and the National Resources Defense Council.

But FEMA doesn't want to be linked to this map. A FEMA spokesperson told CBS that "FEMA does not, and has not, released any type of formal map of potential nuclear targets."

However, FEMA does provide information to the public to help them prepare for a potential hazardous or radiological event through Ready.Gov."

The target map points out that big cities like New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, are the most likely to get hit. Other cities that might be in danger are Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami and Philadelphia.

Other high value targets are working nuclear power stations - there's 90 of them - in states like Alabama, Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

In the west, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming have lots of targets marked on the map.

So, where's the best place to be in the case of a nuclear attack on America?

Rural areas like Idaho, Maine, Northern California, and Oregon are your best bets against being incinerated according to the experts.

Realistically, if there's ever a nuclear attack against America there will be no safe places after the fallout.

As it Stands, there's nothing we can do about a catastrophic nuclear war so don't worry about it and just live for today.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Trump's MAGA Meme Stock Meets Reality

It was just a week ago when Trump's new stock offering under the ticker "DJT" made a flashy market debut but now reality is starting to set in.

The former president and convicted rapist's net worth fell by more than $1 billion on Monday when his social media company's value plunged by 21.5%.

Apparently, some investors were shaken by the news that Trump's social media company - Truth Social - lost nearly $58.2 million in 2023. Investors probably weren't thrilled when the company accountant issued a warning that its losses "raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern."

Industry analysts have compared the fervor around Trump Media to the meme stock craze. In essence, bad things are going to happen down the road.

Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group, whose primary asset is the Truth Social platform, tumbled $13.30, or 21% to $48.66 on Monday.

Thats below its opening price last Monday of $49.90 per share and represents a 39% plunge from the stock's high of $79.28 on March 26. 

Trump who owns 57% of the newly public company has been watching his stock slide as he's lost $2.5 billion (on paper) thus far.

As bad as Trump needs money right now he can't even access his sliding stock. At least for now. There's a "lock-up" provision that bars Trump from selling the stock for six months as a way to keep insiders from dumping shares immediately.

Don't be surprised if Trump weasels his way around the provision gaining access sooner than the required six months. But what will it be worth by then?

Like everything that Trump gets his tiny hands on this latest attempt to add to his wealth is going to end in failure - for him and the idiots who bought it thinking he's a good businessman - despite his history of bankruptcies and cheating charities.

As it Stands, regardless of what happens to his new stock, Trump will continue grifting his cult members in a never-ending quest for money.

Breaking News! An Angry Putin Releases 'Golden Shower" Video Starring Trump

It was bound to happen.

Putin and Trump recently got into a bigly argument about how he's conducting his presidential campaign.

Putin accused Trump and his minions of not being serious about the race by not raising enough funds for the campaign on top of his losing strategy of revealing who he really is. The Republican party was broken and cash poor but somehow continued to pay Trump's legal bills.

In essence, Putin was disappointed in his puppet's efforts and beginning to believe Trump's crimes might catch up to him in the form of a felony conviction in an October surprise.

In a moment of rage as he saw his puppet's odds of winning decrease Putin ordered his secret police to release the infamous "Pee Pee Tapes" featuring Trump and two transgender prostitutes.

After Putin settled down his snake brain thought about the kind of people who follow Trump and decided it wasn't that bad a mistake sharing Trump's sexual escapade. His followers may even add that sick act to their Ultra MAGA status creds.

Sure enough, days later the Pee Pee Tapes were being premiered at walk-in theatres in red districts everywhere. Bystanders marveled at the long lines of red-hated Trump followers wearing his merchandize while chanting "Pee on me baby!"

The usual Trump vendors were there hawking "Pee on me" badges, plastic sheet covers, and a new Trump perfume called "Pee Amour."

Meanwhile the rest of Americans were vomiting.

As it Stands, I hope you enjoy your April Fool's Day as much as I have.

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...