Saturday, May 28, 2016

An Intriguing Alternative To Trump and Clinton

Good Day World!

Are you like me when it comes to being totally disgusted with Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton, as our next president?
 (Photo-Gary Johnson - AFC-AFP/Getty Images)

Thinking of leaving the country and starting over somewhere else? Canada and Finland are already encouraging disgruntled Americans to move to their countries.

Do you feel like there's no hope? 

Well, I'm going to offer up an alternative that may surprise you at first: The Libertarian Party, with Gary Johnson (senator from New Mexico) as their presidential candidate.

Every four years a third-party scenario surfaces like a submarine and quickly sinks into obscurity. But this year is different.

For starters there's never been a presidential election featuring two of the most unpopular candidates for president in American history. 

According to political pundits the only party with a chance to be a factor is the Libertarian Party. That's partly because they're the only ones whose candidate is likely to make ballot in all 50 states.

Get this; In three recent national surveys, Johnson has cracked double-digits in a hypothetical match-up against Trump and Clinton. 

Nicholas Sarwark, chair for the Libertarian National Committee, feels that the combination of polling and pedigree is the long-promised libertarian moment. 

The point is, for the first time ever, a third party may stand a chance on pulling off the greatest presidential upset in history.

Johnson's entire strategy in 2016 hinges on winning the media attention that prompts inclusion in surveys, then doing well enough in surveys to get more attention. “We’re spot on in terms of message,” he says, “but it’s a message that’s not being heard.” 

His magic number is 15%: the threshold at which a candidate automatically wins a spot on the presidential debate stage.

Think about it. If your conscience can't bear voting for the Donald or Hillary, Johnson could be the ticket. I don't look at it as a wasted vote (or protest vote), but as a vote that may make history.

In this election there are no rules, no traditions, or accurate predictions. Voters are angry enough to seek alternatives to the dreaded-two.

Are you?

Related Story:

2016 Finally Has a Contested Concention, Thanks To the Libertarians

Time for me to walk on down the road..

Friday, May 27, 2016

How To Be A Hypocrite And Still Live With Yourself

Good Day World!

The presidential primaries have been a case study for serial hypocrites. 

The question is how do the hypocrites manage to live with themselves when they publicly flip flop on opinions for political expediency?

Isn't it embarrassing?

Apparently not. 

Remember last February when New York Republican Rep. Peter King said Donald Trump was "not fit to be president, morally or intellectually?"

In early May he changed his tune and endorsed Trump. He's not the only example. There's plenty of others. 

As Trump's competition wilted Republicans who initially thought Trump was unfit to be a president faced a dilemma: willfilly embracing him would mean recognizing that their decisions about whom to support were opportunistic rather than principled.

But here's the rub; they all wanted to be on the winning team. No problem according to psychologist Jeff Malet who said that the human mind has a built-in solution for problems like this: the whitewash.

Malet explained in a recent article that when people are faced with the option to either stand on principal or gain advantage, people tend to do the latter.

And if that means rewriting your preceptions, the mind is more than happy to comply while maintaining the illusion that you were doing what was right all along.

So if you're a Republican, Trump is now your standard-bearer, and the easiest way to come to terms with this fact is to lessen his sins. 

For example, if you were concerned by Trump's initial failure to distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan's David Duke, your mind can soften this blemish. 

That's what Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch might have done once he realized his favored candidates weren't likely to prevail; Hatch told himself, and the press, that "deep down" Trump doesn't tolerate racist organizations, he's just "inexperienced in expressing himself" about it.

Guess what? You don't have to be a politician to be a hypocrite. They come in all shapes and sizes. Just remember to be prepared to spread lots of whitewash over the history your changing.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Poem: 21st Century Scream

By Edvard Munch - WebMuseum at ibiblioPage: URL: ttp://, Public Domain,

Good Day World!

Every now and then I like to share my feeble attempts at writing poetry.

Today is one of those days.

My inspiration is Edvard Munch's famous painting - THE SCREAM


Edvard Munch screamed in the 20th century
On the edge of sanity
horrified at the follies of man
throughout the land

If Munch were alive today
what would he say?
insanity and war still stalk mankind
on wisdom, there is no sign

Would he paint the 21st Century in pain?
another era with no gain?
or, would he be seduced by new science
and paint the latest kitchen appliance?

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

That's Outrageous! News That Leaves You Shaking Your Head...

Good Day World!

On any given day you can find news items that make you wonder if the whole world has gone mad.

For example:

You may have heard of George Zimmerman, the guy who murdered a teenager in 2012 and got away with it, but did you hear about what he's doing for money these days?

He put the murder weapon - a 9-mm Kel-Tec PF-9 - up for auction. Supposedly, he got $250,000 for it. There's some who doubt that he got that much. 

Regardless of what he did get for the murder weapon, think about this; what kind of person would pay big money for a weapon that ended a defenseless teenager's life?

We're not talking about General Patton's pearl-handed revolvers. Just a common 9-mm handgun owned by a racist, bad-tempered jerk who had a good lawyer.

Just like O.J. Simpson, who also got away with murder, but is doing jail time for assault, kidnapping, etc.

Just last year, Zimmerman showed the depth of his depravity by tweeting a picture of Trayvon Martin's corpse to his followers. Of course the story was picked up by the mainstream media.

The mainstream news wastes too much time reporting about morons like Zimmerman and not enough on legitimate news. But I know why.

The more outrageous, the more readers/viewers want it. 

There's not much I can do about it but shake my head and hope someday there'll be a return to real news stories, instead of nothing but entertertainment journalism like we have now.

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Political Revelation: It's All Just A Gameshow

Good Day World!

It took me a while to process what's been happening in politics this past year, but I finally understand what's going on.

The assimilation of politics and entertainment is complete. They're interchangeable now. And it's just what the public seems to want.

It's been a slow process with gossip pioneers like Walter Winchell setting the bar for future generations of reporter/personalities that got away with saying just about anything they pleased to entertain viewers and readers - truth be damned.

Once on different roads, politics and entertainment have changed couse to a one-lane highway resulting in an alliance of lies instead of truthful reporting, for the sake of getting readers/viewers.

Candidates like Trump can get away with saying pretty much anything they want without being held accountable so long as what they say is entertaining, and so long as they keep the comments coming.

All the major networks are guilty. Instead of holding Trump accountable they have been giving him billions of dollars in free advertising by reporting everytime he farts or says something outrageous.

The core of this fusion is Americans who are no longer able to tell what's real or what's just a gameshow. There's been a meltdown of minds.

What this means is that our politics are no longer politics in the traditional sense of policy and governance.

Trump is the poster boy for non-political politics - a synergy of the showman and town gossip - fused into what passes off as a presidential candidate in 2016.

My grandfather Baxter use to say, "And the merry game goes on..." So, it does.

Who would have guessed the end game would come so soon for America?

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It's Time For A Blog Break My Friends!

Good Day World!

It's time for me to take a blog break. I'm going to visit family in Southern California.

I'll be back on Tuesday, May 24th. 


Seeing as you stopped by already, why not check out some of my newspaper columns, or past posts from this blog? Look to the right of the page and pick whatever you want.

I appreciate you're stopping by. In parting, here's an old Irish Blessing that I love:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Déjà vu To You: How Does Your Brain Process The Past?

Good Day World!
Déjà vu to you. 
I’ll explain later, but right now let’s cut to the chase. 

Have you ever had the feeling you had experienced something in the past when the experience was actually a new one?

Kinda creepy huh? It has been for me numerous times. As far as I’ve been able to determine there are two schools of thought on that sense of Déjà vu. 

You have the scientific viewpoint, and you have the folks who believe those feelings of Déjà vu come from psychic abilities possessed by some people.

So what is it? Disorders in the brain or memories of a past life? What is Déjà vu? 

Let’s start with those researchers who spend their lives trying to find the answer. The collective feeling has been attributed to schizophrenia, anxiety and a malfunction of the electrical system in the brain.

Interestingly, certain medicines are believed to be factors responsible for Déjà vu. Medicinal drugs such as amantadine and phenylpropanolamine have been observed to cause it.
A popular theory says our brains tend to associate different situations. Even more interesting, the brain often tries to experimentally reproduce a situation it has never faced. 

The result?

Your anticipation of a certain event might make you think you’ve encountered a similar experience before.

In my reading on the subject I found there are several types of Déjà vu. Fair warning; this gets a little tricky. Basically you have Deja Senti, Deja Vecu, and Deja Visite. 

With Deja Senti the feeling you have refers to something “already felt.” According to researchers something felt in the past was very similar to that felt in the present. The similarity in the two experiences can make a person feel they’ve done it in the past.

When you visited a completely new place, have you had the funny idea you knew what was going to happen next? That’s called Deja Vecu, and those who experience it feel they have a portal to the future.

There’s a fine line between Deju Vecu, and the last form of Deju vu called Deja Visite. As the name implies, Deja Visite is all about going to a place for the first time and claiming to know it despite never having been there in reality.

It’s funny, but most of my Deju vu experiences were like “Oh No! Caught again!” 

I knew a guy in the Army who always claimed to experience Déjà vu and after a while I wondered if he was a psychic or a wacko. Luckily, we were only stationed together for a few months and I never had to find out.

While trying to understand this mysterious Déjà vu stuff I came across one explanation that was an eye opener. Scientists say one of the human eyes perceives a certain thing before the other. One eye actually records the incident earlier, they claim.

Meanwhile the other eye, which records the same incident milliseconds later, gives the brain a feeling of recollection.

Researchers suggest that one eye perceives something and the brain interprets it. The other eye lags in time by a few milliseconds, perceives the same thing and sends the image to the brain.

So what happens? The brain perceives the image milliseconds later and thinks you’ve seen it before. Sound good? 

Well…maybe not. People with only one eye experience Deju vu too, a fact that has left those researchers scratching their heads and bumping into walls.

I’m sure this will only be a temporary setback and they’ll have another explanation for Deju vu one of these days.

If you think I wrote this post before, please squint one eye and blink the other a couple of times until the feeling goes away! 

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

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Of Politics, Team Sports, and Losers

Good Day World!

There's nothing wrong with sports teams that support their club without reservation.

That concept shouldn't be applied to politic parties however.

We have two warring teams - the Democrats and the Republicans. Both protect their brand jealously, and mindlessly, to the detriment of the American people.

Those two political teams are supposed to be representing their constituents...not pie-in-the-sky ideologies that ignore reality. 

The real concerns that most Americans have are seldom addressed in the political arena where the two parties play their games.

Particularly troubling is the practice of voting along party lines rather than for the best candidate. A good example of that is Louisana governor Bobby Jindal's recent op-ed.

He admits Donald Trump is an ass, but says he felt the party is more important, therefore he's going to vote for him.

It's that kind of attitude - take one for the Gipper - that has produced two candidates that are extremely unpopular wih the general public.

The bottom line is voters are going to be stuck this year voting for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. 

Unlike team sports however, there will be no eventual winner, just millions of losers.

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Goodbye Disney Dollars, 'Kid' Roams Highway, & World's 1st Burger King Spa

Good Day World!

No more Disney dollars after today. 

The colorful currency has been around since 1987, but Disney has decided to do away with it for several reasons.

Don't worry. If you still have some its still good. There's no expiration date. Lots of people have been collecting the funny currency, and I expect that practice will only increase now that they're not printing them it any longer.


In Azusa, California, where I graduated from high school (1968), police found a kid roaming around on busy Foothill Boulevard.

The kid (actually a baby goat) is fine, and the Azusa Police Department would like the owner to come and get him. 

If you happen to live in the area and know where this roaming kid belongs, call (626) 812- 3200.

And finally...

If you plan on visiting Finland in the future, don't pass up a chance to go to the world's first Burger King Spa.

Try to imagine all the fun you can have there. Beside a sauna and showers, the spa has a media lounge with a 55-inch television and a Playstation 4 game console.

I'm waiting for McDonalds, and Taco Bell, to open their spa versions in a country closer to me - like in the United States!

Time for me to walk on down the road.. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

My 1st 'Hard' News Story for a Newspaper Was A Shocker

Good Day World!

In 1976, I was a freshman in college and a reporter for The Hornet, the school newspaper.

Fullerton Community College (FCC) back in those days was a small college with a good reputation for multiple disciplines.

I was married to the woman of my dreams, Shirley, and we had two boys. Both just babies. Shirley and I both worked fulltime jobs, and both of us were taking college courses.

I had an epiphany that year and made the choice to be a journalist instead of pursuing an English major that didn't seem to have a payoff soon enough for a growing family.

Two things of note;

One, I was a Vietnam veteran going to school on the GI Bill and older than most of the students in my classes. I was 26-years old.

Two, as a combat veteran, I was still able to function under fire, as it were, and handle horrific situations. Later, PTSD would catch up to me, but not before I had a 21 year career in journalism as an editor and publisher. 

My first hard news story was a public suicide.

A student in the classroom directly across from The Hornet newspaper (where I was working at the time) blew his brains out in the front of a classroom, to the horror of 30 some students and a teacher.

I heard the shot clearly and recognized that it was a gun shot. Even as my brain registered that fact, I was moving swiftly to the source of the shot...instinctively checking out the situation.

Students poured out of the classroom, shrieking and crying. When I entered the room I saw the shooter's body partly held up by a desk.

The chalk board was splattered with his brains and blood. I took in the scene and realized there would be no more shots.
Then the police and first responders came.

Local newspaper reporters interviewed me. When they were done - and the police were done - asking questions, I wrote the story that day. It was published the next day in The Hornet.

Despite that horrendous sight, I was still able to compartmentize my brain enough to write the story while it was still fresh. That's when I knew I could do the job, and write about anything.

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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Why are candles thought to be romantic?

Good Day World!

Why does every romantic scene in a book, or movie, seem to have candles involved?

What is it with wax anyway? 

I've heard the excuse that candles set a sexy mood. Flickering lights are creepy, if you ask me. Dracula's castle is full of candles!

Then there's the argument that we look better in the light of 10 candles than the glare of spot lights. I'll go along with that up to a point...but, I'd rather use a light bulb with a dimmer. It's a lot less likely to catch on fire than candles.

What about scented candles you ask?

No problem. You want a certain fragrance to spice things up? There's incense.  

What about candles in sex play? I never could understand the thrill of having someone hold a candle over them and having the hot wax sear their body. Just too strange.

Yet, despite these observations, I know that I'm not going to make an impact on candle lovers. Nor do I want to. This post is about sharing an opinion and nothing more.

So...light 'em if you have 'em! Don't mind me.

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

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