The hit NBC weekly soap opera This Is Us is certainly not easy to follow. If you haven't been watching for sometime, I don't think you can tune in now and have any idea what the heck is going on.
It is hard enough if you have been watching from day one, as I have. Because the storyline jumps backward and forward in time, and the actors change in most cases to fit the age differences, newcomers to the show are going to be baffled.
The family oriented theme revolves around a fairly large ensemble of people and their individual and collective storylines. The show is rich in plot, deep in character development and performed by extremely talented actors.
I love this form of drama. I think the writing is tight and the dialogue real. Personally, this is my favorite kind of weekly show, but I wonder why it has attracted such a wide audience simply because none of the other networks offer anything like it. Most highly rated shows reflect a predilection for fanciful escapism or formulaic cop shows. Reality shows attract massive audiences because everyone wants to see a train wreck.
There have been some great ensemble dramas in the past. Lost, St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, The West Wing, and Thirtysomething come to mind, but This Is Us is quite different. It is all about family, whereas the other shows explored relationships that were forced by odd circumstance or unusual employment. And there is no contrivance other than the unusual circumstances of how the family came together and grew and reacted to each other and the changes in relationships as they age.
So what is the hook that makes This Is Us work so well?
There are constant elements to the success and appeal of any TV program: Writing is paramount, but that is obvious. So I would suggest that pacing is a key device to keep an audience glued to the screen. Every great TV drama mixes strong emotions into the story, blending humor and heartbreak, expectation and disappointment equally, so the viewer can't wait to see what is coming next week. This Is Us moves along at a rapid, sometimes disturbing pace because of the storylines that bridge the lifetimes of the people. In just one episode we may see a character in childhood, in adolescence and in middle-age. And that is just one theme. When intermingled with half a dozen dramatic and unexpected plot twists, the combination is compelling.
Finally, I think viewers can relate to how fast life seems to go by, and how little control we actually have on where it will eventually take all of us.
This is new territory.
My fellow Americans, we are pioneering a new frontier for our worldwide community. The Boomer generation and our children have never really been tested before. The fact is the wars in Vietnam and Korea, the attack on the World Trade Centers and the Great Recession were nothing compared to the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, the Great Depression, or World War II.
What we are experiencing during this pandemic is something our successors will be studying in the future. They will either be impressed or depressed by how we end up dealing with this international challenge.
Did we act as a unified species in defense of our existence or did we act as tribal adversaries in a way that selfishly diminished our ability to survive on Earth?
I have written about the fact that my generation and those behind the Boomers are unprepared for cultural upheaval and social chaos. I still believe that, but no one was prepared for what turned out to be a battle for the future of civilization that was World War II.
But Americans stepped up and led the way, and I believe Americans will do that again. If we get behind our quarterback and play as a team we have the people and resources to defeat this threat.
I believe Team America is the beacon of freedom, humility and humanity in the world today, and we will rise to the occasion again. The world is looking to us for leadership, as they always have. It may not be easy or pretty, and we may violate some privacy rights or hurt some feelings, but at this point we have to make some big plays before the clock runs out.
As I watched President Trump lead the warmup lap at the Daytona 500 last month, riding in the Presidential limo called The Beast, I thought it symbolized the challenge the Democrats face next Fall. Then watching the Democratic candidates stumble all over themselves at the CBS Candidate Debates, I said to myself, "Is this all they got?"
The Democratic Bandwagon is just not up to the challenge. It looks like a 4-cylinder eco-friendly Opel trying to compete with a state-of-the-art James Bond-like SuperTruck that can literally run over the opposition.
Recent events make it apparent the Democratic nomination is going to come down to two candidates: Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. This week's announcements by Michael Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, jumping off the bandwagon and endorsing Joe Biden have stripped the Old Grey Machine of much of it's horsepower. Having spent the past few months touting their bona fides, the power trio constantly reminded us of their unique gender perspectives, their managerial successes, and their youthful energy. To turn around now and endorse Sleepy Old Joe seems totally disingenuous. They knew he was a candidate, so why didn't they join his campaign from the beginning? The fact that they all belatedly endorsed Biden exposes some disturbing truths about the conflicted Democrat Party.
The dirty tricks the Clinton controlled super delegates orchestrated against the Sanders campaign in 2015 demonstrated Old School Democrats never liked Bernie and they aren't about to jump on his bandwagon as long as Sleepy Old Joe and the Old Grey Machine is still on the track. The one thing they all agree on is that they must remove Donald Trump from office, right? But now we can deduce that Job One is to deny Bernie Sanders the opportunity to drive the Old Grey Machine. They say they want to unify America, end racism, end discrimination, uplift the disadvantaged, provide opportunities for everyone and end unfair policies that put minorities in prison and keep woman from achieving independence. But isn't that the Modified Stock Car Bernie Sanders is driving?
Biden has a car in the race but up until now no sponsor. Which begs the question, is Bernie really a Democrat? Are the Democrats relevant anymore? Is Bernie doing to the Old School Democrat Party what Trump did to the Old Guard Republican Party in 2016?
Joe Biden has been in elective office for 36 years in Congress and 8 years in the White House. He has always identified as a Democrat while Bernie Sanders has, for the most part, always identified as a Socialist Progressive. Just as we need to note the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, maybe it is time anti-Trump voters recognize the distinction between Progressive Democrats and Old School Democrats.
The Democrat Old Grey Election Machine has an identity crisis. Their reliance on big government high-tax solutions is going to be a problem for whoever wins the nomination. The new tax initiative election results in Sanders-friendly California shows voters are not enthused about raising taxes.
As for Biden, the Obama/Biden administration's emphasis on social justice issues created a cultural crisis in America. They have failed to unseat Trump with spike-strip charges about womanizing, college-era rapes, Russian collusion, and quid pro quo obstruction conspiracy theories. So now it will be up to their insider campaign mechanics to recharge the Old Grey Machine's battery during a last minute pit stop.
In the wake of the 2016 Trump victory the Old Grey Machine embraced environmental apocalypse as their strong point. They propose massive tax initiatives to save the world. Of course they haven't and won't mention how those policies would bring down the booming economy and put millions back on the welfare roles. Nor has anyone come up with a credible explanation for paying for the $93 trillion price tag of the Progressive Green New Deal.
The Sanders Socialist movement is at least completely transparent if not delusional. Sanders is the Modern Day Robin Hood and history tells us that redistributing wealth has enormous voter appeal especially to unestablished young voters. Bernie thinks he can buy the race with Other People's Money.
Biden's Super Tuesday victories have forced Democrats to decide if putting such an ill-defined, inarticulate and inefficient machine as Sleepy Old Joe out on the track would have a chance against the Beast. Or if just pouring gasoline on the event and Bern-ing it down will be better. Either way, the Old Grey Machine ain't what she used to be.
For the past three decades the media has painted all Presidents as "savvy" at using the sound bite and the news video to shape public opinion and move the populace in the direction they wanted. Clinton was deemed "cool" after appearing on the Arsenio Hall show playing Heartbreak Hotel on the saxophone. Bush stood atop a fire truck to assure Americans "The whole world will hear from you soon!" after 911. You may remember Obama dancing the Tango at a state dinner in Argentina, and breaking tradition by wearing a tan suit occasionally during press conferences. The press treated Obama like a rock-star, and fawned over just about every public event he attended during his tenure.
Most of these occasions were highly scripted to create news and build public relations equity. It is normal for Presidents to take advantage of opportunities to be seen as a man of the people, throwing out the first pitch at the World Series or starting the Indianapolis 500 with "Gentlemen, start your engines!"
Having been an observer of these Special Media Moments of Self Promotion for six presidential administrations, I have to say, Donald Trump is in a class by himself.
DJT has an uncanny knack for making everyday events into viral tornados. Ever since he announced his candidacy in 2015, Donald John Trump has dominated the newscycle unlike any human being in modern history. We are going on four years since he decided to run for the highest office in the land, and if it were possible (maybe it is) I bet a study of computer algorithms would show that the word 'Trump' has appeared more often on computers, TV, radio and podcasts than any other person in modern history. Just when it appears a massive weather story, earthquake or political firestorm is going to be in the headlines for a week or so, Boom! Trump becomes the center of attention. And much of that attention is not self directed. He gets tons of help from the media he calls fake! They hate him but can't stop talking about him.
They say any publicity is good publicity. But Trump has masterfully learned to parlay every piece of news, antagonism or conflict, into a quagmire for his critics. The harder they hit, the deeper they sink.
I thought after the initial impact of his unexpected victory in 2016 died down, he would settle into a more normal President-esque newscycle. Like any controversial political figure he would still be very prominent in the news. But boy was I wrong! As much as the media wants to destroy the man, they keep him in the spotlight 24/7. And though they do it in a mostly negative way, Trump keeps finding ways to overcome their negativity and turn a turnip into a flower.
These past two weeks have been perhaps the basis for another book for Trump to write. He has many bestsellers (The Art of the Deal, The Midas Touch, Think Like a Billionaire, etc.) and has lived up to most of his postulations. Since the New Year Trump dodged an impeachment effort, saw the economy continue to expand at unprecedented rates, enjoyed job numbers never before reached, watched his approval numbers reach new heights despite the unrelenting attacks by Democrats and the unfriendly press. He signed the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement that will replace the unbalanced NAFTA deal, and he tentatively reached an agreement with China on Phase One of a new trade deal that should yield a $200 billion boost in exports. He also reached an agreement with house Democrats on a $738 billion defense spending bill that improves parental leave policies for federal workers and funds a newly created Space Force.
A recent Quinnipiac Poll showed that 57% of Americans feel their lives are financially better since Trump took office.
On top of all that, Trump delivered one of the most impressive State of the Union speeches ever! He masterfully spelled out his campaign promises and a checklist of accomplishments, then paraded a series of emotionally moving examples of how his policies have re-established pride in America, respect for our service members and our police departments, boosted minority educational opportunities, and put Americans back to work. While the Speaker of the House made a fool of herself by childishly tearing up her copy of the speech, the nationwide audience was reminded of how America can lead and succeed if we put our priorities in order. Trump orchestrated visuals contrasting the positive aspects of his policies while the cameras showed Democrats sitting and scowling evan when the audience was celebrating a 102 year-old black World War II veteran.
Then just a few days later, Trump buzzed the Daytona 500 racetrack crowd in Air Force One, landing just a few minutes away. He quickly appeared riding in the Presidential Limousine they call The Beast, leading a warmup parade of race cars around the infield track to rousing ovations and shouts of "USA,USA!' and "Four More Years!" while over 9M viewers watched from all around the world.
The man has mastered the Art of the News Cycle.
Yeah, I am an older, white, male fuddy-duddy. I am not considered relevant.
So how I reacted to the Super Bowl halftime show will not resonate with the average fan.
Or will it?
I have my feelings about the NFL corporate focus on Progressive values and appealing to an international audience of mostly young viewers and fans. I could be outraged by the unwillingness of the NFL to punish players that disrespect the rules, that profess hatred for America, that repeatedly abuse women, drive while drunk, and fail drug tests. I could have given up on them a long time ago when they started using the Super Bowl as a Social Justice Media Platform, thrusting alt-left performers like Black-Eyed Peas, Nikki Minaj, and the famous Big Boi onto the stage, just so the world could see how diverse (and perverse) America really is!
I love the game of football and refuse to deny myself the enjoyment I get from watching phenomenal athletes perform at very high levels, so I have put the whole National Anthem disrespect thing and the bizarre halftime shows behind me. I simply won't allow the politics of the NFL's public relations department to spoil the sport and the entertainment I get from it.
And then there are the sophomoric attempts at humor and branding during the breaks. The ads are mostly self-serving exposes on cultural diversity, the plight of minorities, women and refugees. Many of us feel like we have to endure the advertising sermonizing just so we can watch a football game.
But Sunday's Super Bowl embrace of such an obviously sexual halftime routine is perhaps a bridge too far. Remember the "wardrobe malfunction" by Janet Jackson in 2004? Rapper MIA flipping off the audience in 2012? The Black Panther Tribute by Beyonce in 2016? All were clearly designed to push the cultural pendulum to an extreme. But this show redefined disgusting...I was embarrassed by the orchestrated crotch shots, the innuendo of the lyrics, and the twerking.
At what point do all of us object to such blatant female objectification? Is this the new normal for showing "respect" for women and their accomplishments? Shakira and Jennifer were degrading themselves!
Come on, man!
Don't they know millions of kids were watching? Is the collective conscience of the NFL dead? What made them think turning the halftime show into a Gentlemens Club Strip Show would be a good idea?
The women's achievement angle is great, I am all for that. But did it occur to them that featuring women who flaunt their sexuality, who tease the audience by focusing on hip grinding and crotch thrusting, pole dancing, hair flipping and cathouse kooing may not be the best way to pay tribute to the achievement of Latino women? Then they brought kids out to support the whole thing, as if to say, "That's my mommy up there pole dancing. Isn't she strong?"
I have always liked Shakira and Jennifer as they both have amazing stories of determination and accomplishment. But I am sorry, this stuff has to stop! I want to hear from the mom's that watched the show. Did they cover their kids eyes or suggest they should aspire to be like Jennifer? I want to ask those moms, Shakira and J.Lo, would you take your 12 year-old kids into a strip club? Would you encourage your girls to pursue a career in pole dancing?
As for the artists, why do they feel the need to use their sexuallity to entertain us? It is no different than comedians using profanity when it is unnecessary to get a laugh. The singing, dancing, live orchestras, marching bands and flag twirlers, and even high tech animation isn't enough? Just what are they trying to accomplish? How does such a display of female sexual exploitation make the world's biggest entertainment event better?
The sad truth is they are not thinking about any such altruism. They are thinking about creating a sound bite, a news headline, a social media reaction. It is SuperStar one-upmanship. "We made history!" according to Shakira, which illustrates her motives. Both women appeared more interested in their own legacy than on having any positive impact on our culture. Every year the halftime performers seem determined to overshadow every halftime show that came before them.
So they resort to what always gets the most attention, to what is the most salacious and outrageous. It is beyond sad that these two talented women would resort to the oldest, and cheapest attention getter in history: Sex.
I posted this essay exactly 3 years ago February. It illustrates just how little things have changed in a period that most people say has been chaotic.
Learning From Elephants
One of the most disturbing trends in the American experience is the strain politics is putting on the relationships between our family and friends.
The fact is that since the beginning, Americans have been divided. Every four years we confront those feelings by conducting a national election. It is something that forces us, as a union of fifty states, to reconcile our differences in a peaceful manner. President Lincoln was hated by the opposition party because he wanted to disrupt a tradition of holding slaves. Democrats threatened to use violence if necessary to undo his attack on their way of life.
We all know how that ended up.
So here we are hundreds of years later and some angry progressives are also threatening impeachment and even assassination to stop what they consider the hijacking of their politically correct social construct of equanimity and social justice, as personified by Barack Obama.
I see daily pleas to not let politics come between our personal relationships. Isn't it funny that only now that a conservative coalition has assumed power that some people are suddenly concerned about microaggressions? I don't remember anyone showing empathy for conservatives when Obama policies attacked Christians for refusing to participate or condone practices they deemed antithetical to their beliefs. I don't remember anyone coming forward to protect the rights of ranchland owners whose property was being invaded by illegal immigrants streaming across the Mexican border. I don't remember anyone coming to the rescue when the institution of marriage was redefined by judicial fiat.
I know for a fact that for the past eight years, myself and many of my conservative friends have had to bite our tongue and remain silent under the threat of being called bigots because we had policy differences with the administration. For the past few years, we have had to endear slanderous assaults over virtually anything we said: we were constantly being characterized as racists, homophobes, misogynists and haters.
This is a new form of fascism. Instead of using a super nationalist fervor to dominate the opposition, the leftists have rallied around their own social justice agenda. They have their own 'God' to crusade for, and it is 'Group Think' about sexism, environmentalism, racism and innumerable other 'isms'.
I hate the idea that we can't sit around the dinner table and have a rational, adult discussion of social issues! But I think the idea that we have to suppress our patriotism, our faith, our self identity, our male or female instincts, our family structure, our compassion or empathies, our success and our wealth or lack of it is in and of itself is destructive and un-American.
The anger over the threat to our relationships is, in my view, misplaced. The stress that we Americans are feeling has manifested it's irrational intensity since the Vietnam War.
The national anger was on display at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. It was the beginning of the street demonstrations, the violence and demonization of the opposition, the overt anti-Americanism. It has since been institutionalized by college curricula, by the liberal press, by the liberal film and television industry, and by a coalition of leftist world organizations who embrace the anti-semitism of the Third Reich.
Now we have the attack on Western values by extremist Islamic Jihadists groups (and recently by Progressive Democrats). The asymmetrical war has changed our way of life. We have lost many of the fundamental freedoms we took for granted; casual international travel, fearless congregations of large groups in public assemblies, loss of privacy and nearly invisible community law enforcement. We should be focusing our anger on the forces of terror for driving a wedge between our family differences. The terrorists are purposely shredding our libertarian bonds. The painful strains we feel within our national family are not accidental. Instead of blaming each other, we should be outraged by how terrorism is screwing up the world!
Recently we have witnessed outright pleas for violence, murder and ethnic (aka, conservatives) cleansing by extremist groups rampaging through the streets, sacking businesses, starting fires, and attacking innocent bystanders. They claim they are resisting nationalist right-wingers from stealing their freedoms. But ironically, it is their actions that are restricting the freedoms of Americans, not the other way around. Their actions are actually micro terrorism. Whether intentional or not, they are encouraging chaos and suppression.
So what should we traditionalist Americans do? Should we suppress our nationalism, our patriotism, our love of God, just so we don't hurt someone's feelings? Why are people that don't share our love of Americanism so special? Why should we go out of our way to avoid any conversation that might offend them?
When they were in power, they showed no such empathy towards us! In fact, there is evidence that some government agencies were politicized and used to intimidate opposition groups (the IRS was caught auditing Tea Party activists).
This idea that we should all just cautiously dance around subjects that might offend reminds me of Orwell's Animal Farm; the Farmers were demonized, and the animals mounted a revolution. But in the end, the revolution crashed because some animals decided that other animals just weren't smart enough to govern themselves. That theme exemplifies the narcissism and nihilism of the leftist cabal.
Every country, or family, has a structure, or it isn't really a family or an autonomous country. There has to be some sort of hierarchy, or you have anarchy. The question is, can that structure operate in a fair and equitable way?
The difference in successful family units is the acceptance by each person in the unit that they hold the outcome in their individual hands by accepting their roles, operating out of an unconditional love for each other, and recognizing that without the support of the unit, the Team, if you will, each individual cannot have the same level of success in life.
Leftists will call that idea a biblical nuclear family. Fair enough. History shows that is is the most successful strategy for maintaining social stability. The same principles should apply to government. The representative form of democracy that America invented has proven to be just the formula for building a national family unit. It means that every four years we elect our 'father'. Then we decide how we, as the family tree, can support him or her, so that each of us can contribute to the success of the whole.
One of those roles is to be able to sit down with our brothers and sisters, and respectfully disagree with each other. In the end, when a decision has to be made, 'dad' makes the choice and the family supports that decision. When one of the family kicks and screams that it didn't go their way, the family suffers. And as much as it may hurt to do, 'dad' must reign in the rebel. If he doesn't, the family will ultimately implode.
Of course there are proper settings for these discussions; and the dinner table may not be appropriate. But sitting around and avoiding the elephant in the room is in my view, un-American. We can learn a lot from elephants. They have survived longer than we have as a species, and they operate in a strict family hierarchy.
Colleges are producing two distinctively different graduates. One group goes on to build a family and a career. They use their college experience to leverage a job by using their connections, then give an excellent, well framed and articulate job interview, and then show up on time ready to contribute.
The other student profile is not seriously looking for a job. They are looking for a lifestyle.
Graduating rabble rousers are not unhappy about how college let them down. In fact, they have a high regard for the professors who awakened their latent hatred for the American experience. They are angry at our culture, our heritage and especially at those that venerate America. They will tell you it was college that helped them understand their inner turmoil, and turn it into productive social justice activism. For Progressives, college was like going to a doctor and getting an elixir. It is where the lost souls go to get affirmation and to find a movement to join.
Intentional or not, our college system is just as divided as our country. Either you graduate as a worker bee, or you become a social warrior. (Excerpted from The Illusion of Knowledge: Why So Many Educated Americans Embrace Marxism)
Most people feel compelled to make New Year's resolutions. It can cause a lot of anxiety as we think about what we want to accomplish versus what we think we will accomplish.
Year after year, most people make quiet resolutions to themselves or to friends right at the moment they gulp a glass of champagne to celebrate the midnight hour. They do that because they know revealing their resolution to drunken party goers will never be remembered the next day.
I believe that unless people clearly state their resolutions to many sober people the chances are slim that they will keep them. I speak from experience…
But I also believe there is some nobility to just giving the idea of making commitments some thought. It is important to evaluate your current circumstances, and then to contemplate what could be. We all spend too much time living in the moment, rushing around meeting deadlines, trying to make everyone, and especially ourselves, happy, and forgetting to appreciate how lucky we Americans are.
We take our family, our neighbors, our friends, our community and our country for granted. We take our planet and our faith for granted. We too often make poor choices and order our priorities poorly. We are human, and should recognize that we are flawed, but there is always room for improvement.
So when turning points like New Years Eve come along in our lifetimes, we should take the opportunity to look inside, evaluate our existence, and exercise a little humility and introspection. Our lifespan is such an insignificant moment in the history of humankind, and those years, that 50 to 100 year window in history, has been, by far, the greatest and most productive period in the history of human existence.
On New Years Day it will have been 244 years since some very brave and brilliant people declared independence from Great Britain and began an experiment in governing unlike any before or since. Eighty-five years later we suffered an internecine war to free the slaves and nearly destroyed America. One hundred years ago America passed the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Five years later we gave Native Indians citizenship. Seventy-five years ago American soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe. Fifty-five years ago America passed the Civil Rights Act. Fifty years ago America put a man on the Moon.
Beyond running water, heated and air conditioned homes, grocery stores stuffed with fresh vegetables and meat, advanced communication and transportation systems, ubiquitas educational opportunities, we also have longer and healthier lives than any of those who lived on Earth before us. Now we can simply speak to our cell phones to access the largest library of information ever devised.
Americans live in the most diversified culture on Earth. We enjoy the benefits of all of the flavors and traditions of people from every corner of the planet. This is an achievement that has never been equalled by any previous human endeavor. For thousands of years, under hundreds of empires, no humans have ever had it so good as you and me and all of our friends and families that have come before us.
Making resolutions to improve ourselves is nice, but if we just resolved to be more gracious and more grateful, we would be making promises we can actually keep.
I wrote this piece for the Times-Advocate Newspaper back in August, 2016. It was just before the election. On the eve of the House of Representatives vote to impeach Donald Trump, I thought it appropriate to revisit my sentiments...
I Am Trump
I am not a billionaire playboy or a New York hotshot real estate developer, or an owner of some of the most iconic buildings and resorts on the planet, or a TV superstar of one of the most enduring and iconic reality shows in the past decade. No, I am none of those things.
I am a little different, but in some very important ways Donald Trump and I are brothers.
I am extremely passionate about what a great country I live in, and how fortunate I am to have been born in America. How our hard earned freedom and culture is so uniquely conducive to my ability to live my dream. I have always felt that I should give back to my fellow Americans.
So I do what I can, I write. I write to inform and to entertain. I write to make people think about the kind of things we should consider when we go into a voting booth. My writings are my properties, my brand. I try to share them and to develop them. In my own literary way, I am a developer like Trump.
For several decades I have watched my country, my friends and fellow Americans, go through really tough times like we haven't seen since before WWll. And as I watch historic events unravel the tranquility of the entire world, I sense that most of our problems are self imposed. That our leadership is incompetent. That too many of our elected leaders are really in over their heads. That the enormity of the job of managing the Frankenstein Monster that is America, was simply overwhelming to most of them.
I ask myself, what can I do to help my country? I wrote a book. I did what I am capable of doing. I had this idealistic idea that I could make a positive impact, get people re-engaged and excited about their Americanism.
Turn Right At Lost: Recalculating America, (and more recently Trump's Reckoning) explores my concerns that the country has lost its bearings and needs to make some course corrections, soon. It is no textbook like Trump's The Art of the Deal, but comes from my heart, and it offers insights from someone other than professional talking heads and pointy headed intellectuals.
My book(s) will not save the world, but I didn't stand by and ignore the tragic deconstruction of my country. I stood up and asked to be counted.
Exactly what Donald Trump did.
He didn't have to run for President. He didn't have to put himself and his precious family in harm's way. He doesn't need anymore attention, money or approval, so he volunteered to do what he does well, to rebuild a property that has fallen into disrepair.
Trump comes off as pompous, as self absorbed, as impetuous, even profane. But those shortcomings don't make his fears for the health, security, and the future of our country, any less legitimate.
He stood up and asked to be counted.
Do you know how demanding it is to run for President? Trump is a multimillionaire in his seventies, who has the option to spend the rest of his life golfing the greatest courses in the world, or traveling or making reality TV shows. To suggest that his Presidential ambitions are self serving is insulting and illogical.
His name is an iconic brand, he employs thousands and manages an incredibly complex dynasty of companies and investments. To suggest that a man with a portfolio like that would subject himself to the crushing scrutiny and media pressures of running for the Presidency just because he craves attention ignores reality.
What if…. Trump and myself both genuinely cared about America? That would mean we, and millions of Trump supporters, are all trying to give something back to the country we love. That our effort to elect a leader is not a selfish conspiracy to enrich ourselves, to disenfranchise other Americans, or to create a racially homogenized Aryan nation, but to rebuild the iconic multifaceted rich culture of liberty and world leadership that has served the entire planet well for most of the 20th century.
How dare anyone challenge our motives! We are both doing what we can to help our country. It just so happens he can do a lot more than the average citizen can. Donald has already spent over $50 million of his own money. He is putting his money where his mouth is to help save a world that is sliding into disarray. Which amounts to an enormous charitable contribution!
When you see someone close to you acting erratically, in a self destructive spiral, searching for ways to help them is noble, isn't it? Isn't it the duty of family to help each other in times of need?
So I caution my fellow Americans, do not challenge the intentions of people like Mr. Trump and myself, because if you do, you are suggesting that a fellow American citizen should think twice about being proud and protective of our common American DNA. You are indirectly suggesting that concerned fellow American family members should stop caring about you.
After the recent voting results in Britain, it might be appropriate to revisit a chapter in my book Trump's Reckoning. Now the Brits have made their decision to stop the Progressive Jihad and rebuild their sovereignty...
"When the United States of America declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, the 'Biggest Brexit of All Time' occurred. When those upstart American traitors decided to go it alone, the Empire was caught napping. Their little expansive adventure, sending explorers to the new frontier, had suddenly rearranged the world order, not just for the immediate future, but for all time.
At least up until now.
Now, America is at a nexus: do we want to continue this experiment, that for over a quarter of a century has proven to be the most successful, benevolent and enduring governmental system ever devised? A uniquely American idea that free people, with the help of a core Judeo-Christian belief system, can successfully run a country? Or do we want to go back to a large, top-down, secular-paternalistic style of government, similar to the one our forefathers ran away from?"
Tom Brokaw..."wasn’t it inappropriate for someone like you in the middle of all this to have your son collecting money from the big credit card company while you were on the floor protecting its interests?”
First posted in October 2017....
<While the President rebuilds our economy, stands up to China, brings back jobs , investigates domestic drug distribution and abuse, puts Americans first , improves veterans healthcare, rebuilds our military, and secures our borders, the Democratic Crime Family tries to undermine his administration.>
A Con: A deception or trick; something that appears to be different than it really is.
A Con Artist : One who is particularly adept at trickery, deception and who regularly misleads.
One could put the title of 'A Con' on just about any politician, because of the nature of our binary election system, most candidates try to define themselves by painting their opponent in a bad light. Therefore, they employ deceptive language and imagery to make themselves more attractive.
But Hillary Clinton was not a politician when she started conning people. She was an attorney and later the wife of a prolific conman, Bill Clinton. He was nicknamed the 'Pander Bear' because of his innate ability to fashion his message to the wants and needs of his audience. Bills skills worked around his use of legalese, such as, "It depends on what your definition of is, is". Hers was more of the classic Mafia Don, placing herself at the top of a hierarchy of patrons, then issuing orders to keep everyone in line. For years, she was Bill consigliere. Once his Presidency was over, she quickly ascended to the position of head of the family, the Don.
Together, the Clintons dodged bullets like Bonny and Clide, as they traversed the political landscape. There was her role in the Watergate trials (for which she was later fired), the Whitewater investigation (shady, if not outright illegal, investment scam), the TrooperGate, (using her authority to misuse government security personnel), TravelGate and the Senate Post Office (giving government business to friends), Vince Foster's mysterious death (a man she was rumored to have had an affair with) and nearly four dozen other friends and associates that have died under curious circumstances. There was Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick (trashing their reputations to protect her oversexed husband), her leadership role in covering up the Benghazi fiasco (blaming the terrorist attack on some innocent filmmaker, not reacting quickly to protect our soldiers), her false account of coming under fire while in Bosnia, the Foggy Bottom conflict of interest corruption scheme, the Clinton Foundation (a pay-for-play ponzi scheme that has collapsed since she no longer has any influence to sell), and her infamous private server scheme to circumvent Federal accountability requirements and to help her implement Clinton Foundation paybacks.
And none of this includes the hundreds of millions of dollars Bill collected from corporate or foreign interest speaking engagements while his wife was the acting Secretary of State!
Finally, she obstructed justice by illegally destroying over 30,000 emails and smashing a dozen Blackberry phones so the federal investigation would stall. Of course, she had an election coming up, so being convicted of several felonies would have been very inconvenient, so she used her leverage to keep the various political operatives in line.
So what will Don Hillary do now that the whole scheme collapsed and she is a figment of political history?
Point the finger, of course. Why not, she is one of the best at creating diversions, at taking your eyes off the ball, while she substitutes another strawman to knock down, all while she is the one doing the conning.
So now, as sad as she is, she falls back on her skill set, making specious charges about the mean and dirty trick playing Republicans, charging they have violated campaign laws, told lies, conducted a war on women, stole the election, and are using their authority to give tax breaks to their corporate friends and foreign governments.
She embodies one of the oldest rules of politics: whatever the Democrats are saying about their opposition, it means that that is precisely what they are doing.
Bill and Hillary, the modern day Bonnie and Clyde of Democratic Dirty Politics.The obvious question is, when will the DOJ and FBI catch up to them? Everyone knows it is inevitable, unless, of course, she could affect the impeachment of Mr. Trump….
<Music plays, curtain opens, host walks out, audience shrieks and applauds>
"Hey guys, welcome to the meeting!"
(uses palms down to quiet loud audience)
"Recently women's rights pioneer Betty Friedan died of breast cancer."
(Some clapping and whistles of approval)
"I guess I am going to have to reevaluate my previously low opinion of breast cancer. She was 85, and her family said they wished it could have been longer, but at least she lived long enough to see Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films".
(Loud applause and audience laughter)
"Condolences poured in from the usual subhuman groups of Jew lovers and whores. Mourners are being asked by reasonable and progressive people to kill themselves before their weak kneed and pathetic attitudes and XXX chromosomes destroy the human race."
(Loud applause and audience laughter; host waves for quieting)
"The witch had the audacity to ask from her death bed that her savings be used to help children of poor Jewish women... Can you believe it? I guess Jewish boys don't count, but I suppose there were some things we can agree on."
(Laughter and jeering)
"Now I know these seem like harsh words and harsh jokes"
(host pauses to wait for audience to calm down)
"and I'm sure I will be condemned for them by opponents of our cause.
They will say this traitor to mankind was a kind and forward thinking lady, when in fact the bitch has done more to undermine our civilization than the Black Plague. She has stirred the turd of women's liberation, so "Fuck her" and I am glad she is dead!"
(Audience bursts into wild cheering)
"The world is a better place without these gender terrorists that deny science and promote religious superstitions!"
(Speaking loudly over loud audience applause)
"OK? What a great meeting tonight!"
Have investigators looked into the daily activities of these rogue gunman that ruthlessly shoot innocent people and then commit suicide? We always hear about their manifestos on how the world is against them and they cannot control their rage. Politicians then postulate that if we confiscated more guns this wouldn't happen.
There may be a bunch of ways we could assure ourselves that this could never happen again: we could imprison all young white men. We could have armed guards at every public business, sports event, or school. We could have everyone's arms amputated.
There is a common thread, we just haven't discovered it yet. Guns are a problem, but they are also a necessary part of our freedom. But guns have been around much longer than this relatively recent tsunami of carnage. During the Old West and the Roaring Twenties guns were used in local land and gang turf wars. But no one shot up groups of innocent women and children just to watch them die. And after gun battles, the winners didn't commit mass suicide. Besides, many countries, states and cities have stringent gun control laws, and the evidence contradicts their effectiveness. Mexico has a strong federal no-gun policy yet the state of Sinaloa is one of the most gun violent places on Earth.
The question has to be asked, what has happened in the past twenty five years that has caused such an enormous upsurge in single shooter events? What is driving these individuals to viciously murder dozens of innocent people and then end their own lives? Why do they always act alone? Without warning? Why do they want this to be their legacy?
I don't have the answers, but I do have some observations: society still thinks video games are not dangerous. We think it is OK for young men to spend hours watching simulated war games featuring video shooting galleries with other humans as targets, or watching women being tortured and raped, or street crimes like car theft, hijacking, burglary, bank robbery or drug dealing, and to do this day after day, hour after hour, and think it has no psychological impact? Just last year a 24 year old male shot two other gamers to death at a high stakes video game tournament.
Here's your sign….
Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill by Dave Grossman, a well researched and notated book about this subject, originally published in 1999, tells an ominous story about video brainwashing. Grossman and his co-author Gloria Degaetano (CEO/Parent Coaching Institute) spell out the original purpose of video gaming technology and how it was designed to desensitize users for future warfare effectiveness. The military inventors of the video technology wanted to use it to create killing machines.
Now our leaders dismiss this phenomenon as irrelevant to our mass murder culture. They can't both be right. As a multi-billion dollar business, the widespread distribution of these super violent 'Video Games' has reached every corner of our culture. Within that group of millions and millions of young men, there are bound to be some really vulnerable sickos.
If and when authorities do their due-diligence and look at the daily activities of mass murderers like Stephen Paddock at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, or Patrick Krusias at the El Paso Walmart, or just today, Conner Betts in Ohio, they may well find out what they all had in common.
Instead of confiscating guns or amputating everyone's arms, maybe we should think about controlling the psychological brainwashing young people undergo disguised as innocent gaming.
George Will is a well respected, long time political thinker who has been strongly anti-Trump since well before the 2016 election. He has at times been recognized as an expert on conservatism. He has also accused Trump of faking his conservatism, trashing the honor and respect of the office of the Presidency, and of stirring up anger, xenophobia and anti-intellectualism. He makes no bones about it, he dislikes the leader of the free world.
In a recent interview with Peter Wehner, a contributing editor at The Atlantic magazine, Will said:
“The principle of representative government, which is at the heart of conservatism, is that the people do not decide; the people choose who will decide. And that’s why populism inevitably becomes anti-intellectual...Political leaders today seem to feel that their vocation is to arouse passions, not to temper and deflect and moderate them.”
Will is equating populism with mob rule. He is suggesting it is the job of leaders to deflect the effects of mob rule, then make decisions based on their superior intellect. That sounds a lot like Progressive theory to me.
He also implies that Trump, specifically, aroused voter passions. Like a mirror, Trump has been a master at reflecting heated passions that had been brewing for a long time. That can start a fire, but the light source didn't come from Trump, it came from a political environment of ineffective leadership, misplaced values and the deteriorating sovereignty of the American voter.
He suggests that leaders chosen based on their popularity as opposed to their policy, are anti-intellectual, and dangerous. But that is an oversimplification of what actually happened during Trump's 18 month-long Presidential campaign.
Follow me on this: Trump played by the rules, went around the country and spoke to the electorate where he spelled out the issues and solutions to what he felt the electorate was worried about How does that make him anti-intellectual? Will would prefer the candidate meet with party leaders, formulate a platform, and then use the party structure to acquire the necessary number of electoral votes as determined by insider horse trading, and then govern by intellectualism...
Hasn't that been the policy and procedure of the Republican Party for the past 24 years? Isn't that what lead to the enormous national debt, the instability of our inner cities and the clash of race relations, the mishandling of every war since WWII, and the complete lack of investment in restoring our American infrastructure. Let's not forget the decline in 2-parent families, an epidemic of drug addiction and homelessness, the absolute abdication of healthcare for our veterans, the growing rejection of American exceptionalism and world leadership in the pursuit of human freedom, and the unsupportable onslaught of illegal immigrants swarming and overwhelming our communities across the country.
Hello? These were, and are, the real world issues that face Americans, and precisely what Trump publicly addressed prior to the 2016 election. Does that make him a hate monger? An anti-intellectual? A threat to our system? Come on George, wake up and smell the coffee.
Honestly, Will sounds silly and out of touch with reality. He cavalierly dismisses the enormous sea change in governing that Trump has accomplished despite the disgusting, unAmerican, and possibly criminal opposition by the Deep State Media cabal.
President Trump decided early on, and I think his decision has been vindicated, that it is useless to try to work rationally with opponents who display nothing but hatred, overt aggression and misinformation in the marketplace of ideas. So he has employed a policy of mutually assured destruction: When Progressives throw nuclear media weapons at him, he is going to hit back with an overwhelming social media counter attack. At first it appears reckless and unproductive, but in a very short time, he ends up refocusing the public on the issues and exposing the media's duplicity.
Trump is a builder. Unlike Reagan, who used his acting and speaking skills to move the electorate, Trump just keeps adding one cinder block at a time. We are still a long way from a remodeled masterpiece, but the foundation and the first few floors are done and the crews are working around the clock. We are watching Trump rebuild Americanism, and the specifications don't align with Mr. Will's 90's era neo-conservatism, but when the finish trades move into the White House January 2021, George will be at the Grand Re-Opening.
As we approach a new season of NFL football, it might be appropriate to remind us all of what the National Anthem means in real life experiences...
On Saturday, July 24th, 2010 the town of Prescott Valley, AZ, hosted a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of coming to America and what it means. He spoke the following in dedication to all Vietnam Veterans.
"35 years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I'd laugh at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and my family in the greatest country on earth. I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I'd rather speak to you as an American.
If you hadn’t noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with my people. I am a proud US citizen and here is my proof. It took me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it, and I am very proud of it.
I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could remember anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I can't even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf.
35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had ended At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the US. Somehow, my family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California. It was a miracle from God.
If you haven't heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth, I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong. I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I took the opportunity and here I am.
This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn't know, the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your head. That was my experience.
In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time as an American. To this day, I can't remember anything sweeter and more patriotic than that moment in my life.
Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college, and like any other goofball 21 year old kid, I was having a great time with my life I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California. In some way and somehow, I had forgotten how I got here and why I was here.
One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the other side of the island. I don't know what made me do it, but I walked over and asked if he had served in Vietnam. He smiled and said yes. I shook and held his hand. This grown man's eyes began to well up. I walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back.
You see, America is not just a place on the map, it isn't just a physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an American, you must understand the concept, you must accept this concept, and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion, you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can't speak the language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages - last I looked on the Internet, there wasn't a Vietnamese translation of the U.S. Constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It's not easy, but if it's too easy, it's not worth doing
Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names inscribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders.
At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now ask all veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your services and may God bless you all."
Caddis Advertising, LLC
"God Bless America"
“One Flag, One Language, One Nation Under God”
Commenting on the extreme amount of disappointment in the Mueller Report and the lack of evidence of collusion....
"It will be a reckoning for President Trump, to be sure, but also for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for Congress, for Democrats, for Republicans, for the news media and, yes, for the system as a whole…
-Peter Baker, New York Times
I do not consider myself an extremist.
Some say I am. As Barry Goldwater once said "Extremism in defence of liberty is no vice!"
Here is one man's opinion that sums up my patriotism:
I am the Democratic, Republican Liberal-Progressive's Worst Nightmare.
I am a White, Conservative, Tax-Paying, American Veteran, Gun Owning Biker. That's me!
I am a Master Mason. I work hard and long hours with my hands to earn a living.
I believe in God and the freedom of religion, but I don't push it on others.
I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles .
I believe in American products and buy them whenever I can.
I believe the money I make belongs to me and not some liberal governmental functionary,
Democrat or Republican, that wants to share it with others who don't work!
I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!
I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer; it makes you a smart American.
I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything. Get over it!
I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac or any other item, you should do it in English.
I believe there should be no other language option.
I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.
My heroes are Malcolm Forbes, Bill Gates, John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and Willie G. Davidson, who makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.
I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.
I've never owned a slave, nor was I a slave. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks, and neither have you!
I believe if you don't like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and change your own country! This is AMERICA ...We like it the way it is and more so the way it was ...so stop trying to change it to look like Russia or China, or some other socialist country!
If you were born here and don't like it... you are free to move to any Socialist country that will have you. I believe it is time to really clean house, starting with the Congress and all those who oppose the POTUS.
I want to know which church is it, exactly, where the Reverend Jesse Jackson preaches, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution? Can I get an AMEN on that one?
I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are, but not just because you happen to ride a bike.
And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my driver's license. I think it's good....
And I'm proud that 'God' is written on my money..
I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.
I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me stuff or trying to guilt me into making 'donations' to their cause....Get a job and do your part to support yourself and your family!
I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes a man and woman .
I believe 'illegal' is illegal no matter what the lawyers think!
I believe the American flag should be the only one allowed in AMERICA ! If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American. If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know...
We want to return our country to the values it was founded on, and prospered under for over 200 years!
My Country...I hope this offends all illegal aliens.
My great, great, great, great grandfather watched and bled as his friends died in the Revolution and the War of 1812.
My great, great, great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Mexican American War.
My great, great grandfather watched as his friends and brothers died in the Civil War.
My great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Spanish-American War.
My grandfather watched as his friends died in WW I.
My father watched as his friends died in WW II and the Korean War.
I watched as my friends died in Vietnam , Panama and Desert Storm.
My son watched and bled as his friends died in Afghanistan and Iraq .
None of them died for the Mexican Flag.
Every one of them died for the American flag.
Texas high school students raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole, other students took it down. Guess who was expelled...the students who took it down.
California high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo because they wore T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.
Enough is enough!
This message needs to be viewed by every American; and every American needs to stand up for America .
We've bent over to appease the America-haters long enough.
I'm taking a stand.
I'm standing up because of the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars for this country, and for the American flag.
If you agree, stand up with me.
And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message.
AMERICANS, stop giving away Your RIGHTS! Let me make this clear! THIS IS MY COUNTRY!
This statement DOES NOT mean I'm against immigration!
YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IN MY COUNTRY, welcome to come legally:
We've gone so far the other way . . . bent over backwards not to offend anyone.
Only AMERICANS seems to care when American Citizens are being offended!
WAKE UP America !!!
IN GOD WE STILL TRUST
GOD BLESS THE USA